Partizan pre-season preps in Slovenia are joined by number of media representatives and new boss Ilija Stolica talked to them on current club topics today.
-We have ten intensive training days, we did a lot of things, but we are more than aware there`s lot more work to be done. Summer transfer window will be specific as we are short with time due to upcoming World Cup. Moreover, there will be lot of roster changes. We are now short of centre-backs away on international duty but, at the same time, we are proud they are out there playing UEFA Nations League as well as youngster Ilic who`s away with Serbia U-19`s on European Championships. Of course, this will complicate our pre-season training and friendlies but we have to go with it, it`s just one of the challenges.
My job is to find right solutions when there are obvious problems. Two centre-backs are important for stability and team build-up but we have no central defender available at the moment and we have to improvise. We`ll have to find alternatives and try out different tactical solutions, due to these circumstances. Therefore, you might expect the unexpected in those opening few friendlies. As a result, we had to cancel one friendly while it`s up to us to handle things in other test matches. I wouldn`t want to be in a position to play someone for 90 mins at this point of the preps as it leads to injury risks. I would love to have full squad available now as we have only three weeks until the first competitive game, it`s really close.
I would also love to see new signings as soon as possible as, regardless of their quality, they all need a bit of time to fit in. We will have to work as we go, with boys we have. But, we are not going to rush things regarding new signings, we just want to sign players we need on certain team positions and we have to try and get it right. You can`t always hit the target but we`ll do our best. We need players to fill in for departing ones.
I`m really pleased we signed Sehovic as I worked with him in Serbia youths. He is someone I think should represent Partizan player by all means.
We are also lucky that Aleksandar Filipovic wants to join Partizan as he had six more contractual months with Bate Borisov but he expressed his desire to work with me again. He also wanted to come back home with his young family and we got a quality player by all parameters in Filipovic. He was European Champion with Serbia youths in 2013 and belongs to a group of players with winning mentality and attitude, which I find crucial. People from Bate Borisov told us he only missed games through suspension last season, he`s a top professional. Filipovic knows how I do things and he is a versatile defender. He`s dominantly right-footed player but he can play as a left-back or left centre-back as well. Filipovic is an upgrade for this team and I`m thrilled he`ll sign for us. He also played number of UEFA European competitions qualifiers and I believe he`ll fully blend in into this group.
We know how many foreign players we are allowed to field at one time but we hope for one over the allowed number, five internationals, no more than that, it wouldn`t make sense. We will rotate a lot as we want to have maximum of players in competitive pace.
I know a lot about young Partizan players, they have great potential. We need to involve them more looking at what`s best for the club.
I`m friends with lots of people who are Partizan aficionados and I think we should put bad things aside as we are not going to help our club with bad energy. We need support and love, to be with the club whatever the results are. It easy to be a supporter when the things are going great but true fans are there when everyone runs away from the club. That`s when you should stand by your club, as you do when it comes to your home and family.