Partizan boss Aleksandar Stanojevic replied to number of questions sent in by media representatives during international break, with emphasis on transfer window newcomers and upcoming Eternal derby game.

How`s the training going with number of players away on international duty?

– That`s normal and thank God we have players away on international duty although as I`m relatively new here, It would mean to me to have them all around now. However, we are trying to work on physical bits with players available and on fitting in latest newcomers.

Sasa Zdjelar is new when it comes to international call-up`s.

– I`m really happy for him, he was hoping and waiting for this call-up for a long time and he deserved it, of course. I hope he`ll make a lot of national team appearances.

You signed a lot of player late in transfer window. How ready they all are to play straight away?

– Things were not normal regarding transfers and physicality of players due to Covid-19 and some of the newcomers are ready to play, some aren`t. We`ll know more about their fitness next week.

Do you want or have a need to change game plan?

– I want to change certain things over the next month or so. We`ll see how far we can go depending on time span and player`s abilities.

Some believe Partizan is lacking depth in right-back department.

– In general, I believe we have cover on all team positions now. Both right and left-back positions have players with different characteristics, some players are more attacking-minded, some more defensive-minded. Time will show which qualities will be needed in certain games. But, we are covered in all departments.

Are you happy with your transfer window signings or you missed on someone at the end of the day?

– We signed everyone I wanted. Actually, I need two transfer windows to have a team I want and we`ll have some more new additions come December.

Did you have any late offers for Filip Stevanovic?

– That`s not a question for me, club executives deal with it.

Do you have plans to stage a friendly during international break?

– We wanted to play two friendlies but Teleoptik is busy playing competitive game on Wednesday but we`ll try to find a solution.

When you took over Partizan coaching post 10 years ago, everyone expected you to win Eternal derby game. We have a similar situation now.

– Everyone expects derby game win at any time, expectations are always massive. Things are different with time, but derby is somehow always the same – same emotions, same story.

Talking about newcomers, who`s fit to play derby game?

– Jojic and Obradovic are fully fit, we`ll see about the others. They trained with us for two days only.

Apart from Bahebeck, who do you count on as forward?

– Bahebeck is our number 9 solution and Holender is there too, as deep-lying forward or winger. We also have youngster Stulic who can benefit from Matic`s loan departure.

Stulic had a nose fracture, do you expect him back soon?

– He`ll be back in training within 10 days from now.

Due to a number of new arrivals, can we expect some departures come winter transfer window?

– New arrivals are here primarily for us to make a fresh start, to add to competition, and that`s nothing to do with possible departures. Come winter, we`ll see how we all did, no one`s job here is secure, me included.

Derby win is a must for Partizan due to 8-point deficit towards league leaders?

– Derby is always a must, trailing behind or not. I was here when we played derby as convincing league leaders and vice-versa, when we played cup games or title winning derbies so I experienced everything. I`m not burdened by it and I cannot wait for it kick-off. We all live for Eternal derby games.

Sadly, there`ll be no fans present for a derby game.

– Yes, especially as we play at home but that`s how it is now. We miss them in each game. We have a huge fan base and they are always there for us, they mean a lot even against so-called minnows, fans add needed tension.

Partizan signed four players  – Jojic, Obradovic, Markovic and Bahebeck – ahead of transfer window deadline. Arguably, these are all Champions League quality signings.

– Above all, my desire was to sign players who understand what Partizan is about, those who can handle it. That’s why we signed three players who graduated from Partizan youths back in the day. Jojic meant a lot to Partizan during his first spell, he played for Dortmund and Koln afterwards. He brings his character and stability and, most importantly, his quality. Jojic can play at three or four different team positions. Obradovic is national team quality, he played WC and he can give us different perspective too – better quality from the start, quality flank attack, all he needs is to pick up competitive pace. He can also allow us to try and play three at the back, as left-footed centre-back.

How pleased you are with all newcomers at training ground?

– They all look good, they trained individually prior to their arrival. All they need to do is to train with team for a bit.

Svetozar Markovic?

– He`s a young player, he left Partizan at tender age. We watched him play in Greece, he`s our kid and he knows what this is about. He also allow us more options regarding home-grown players bonus rule.

Jean-Cristophe Bahebeck?

– We had four or five players on offer but I preferred Bahebeck as well as people from the club. Great technic, pace, finish, Bahebeck played on top level but he also needs to pick up competitive pace. We all need a bit of time and patience.

Anyhow, at the moment our focus is on new player`s adapting, we`ll think about Eternal derby in time.

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