Partizan boss Igor Duljaj spoke to journalists upon arrival to pre-season camp in Slovenia where our team will train until July 15.
How was to journey and are you satisfied with the conditions here?
-We travelled around 8 hours, it was quick and without troubles. We did a light training straight away and now we`ll start to prepare for everything that awaits us.
You included number of Partizan youngsters for pre-season training – Mircetic, Aleksic and Trifunovic – how did they adapt so far?
-They are gradually adjusting to pace since they started training with us some ten days ago. It`s a big difference between youth and senior football, especially regarding physicality. They have plenty of time to blend in gradually.
What`s the story with the arrival of new signing Franck Kanoute?
-He`ll land in Belgrade on Sunday followed by medicals on Monday so we expect him here Monday evening or Tuesday morning. He`s definitely signing, I`ve seen him in Belgrade previously, his arrival is not under dispute.
Lots of players left Partizan?
-Number of players who spent quite a few years at Partizan departed and we need to sub them, naturally. Kanoute is coming and we are more or less filled in defensive midfield department. Antic replaced Urosevic and we need to find new additions at centre-back and forward positions. But, we shouldn`t rush into signing just anybody just because there`s not enough time left. If we are a bit late with new signing, it`s better that we do good analysis to make sure we sign the player who can up our game to the higher level.
You also signed keeper Aleksandar Jovanovic. Do you see him as a first-choice goalie?
-He arrived to truly strengthen our squad and he`ll surely have advantage in respect to other keepers but his spot is not guaranteed whatsoever. Jovanovic is a quality keeper, fans will be convinced of his quality soon.
What kind of team you expect to assemble?
-I asked club for some changes. Andrade, Traore and others left…We need fresh blood, young players, 24, 25 up to 28 years old, not players close to end their respective careers. We`ll have emphasis on affirming player whenever we have a chance.
What kind of Partizan fans can expect?
-Partizan fans can always expect good team and results. I insisted on trying to make a mix of young and experienced players, to play with more pace and to find players who can speed up our game. To have an aggressive side you need aggressive players. To have a team pace, you need fast players.
Do you look abroad for new signings?
-Good scouting and analysis – that`s never simple. You have to call former coaches who trained those players, to ask what kind of person he is, problematic or not, then you look at his football qualities. However, time is not on our side.
You have new addition in your coaching team as well?
-I never choose my associates based on friendship principles, it`s about having the same views on the game of football. I made my selection, in my head, long time ago, that was the story with Bruno and I was in long negotiations with Valerio, told him to be patient and how I`ll need someone when things start to change within this team. He`ll add great professional work to this team. I spoke to new associates and I was interested what`s their view of this team but that info will remain ours only.
FOTO GALERIJA: SANDIĆ FOTO