Nebojsa Kosovic turned 24 last Sunday while his young teammate Strahinja Pavlovic made his official Partizan debut three months ahead of his 18th birthday.

We spoke to both of them few days prior to Eternal derby match:

– I`m pleased everyone noticed things are gradually moving into right direction and how this is becoming Partizan we are all used to. It`s true we had best defensive record over the first part of the season but that`s all in vain if you don`t score enough. Knock on wood, that`s kind of fixed now and we have no more trouble in final third. You all remember corresponding fixtures against Backa and Proleter, things are so much different now, says Kosovic.

How is it for you without Marko Jankovic in the team? You seemed quite close.

 – What can we do? That`s life, especially football life. Thank God, there are mobile phones and internet so we are always in touch. Of course I miss the guy in Partizan camp, dressing room or on the field but I`m glad he is happy where he is and we`ll get to see each other and have some good time. He gets day-off often so we`ll see him soon.

159th edition of Eternal derby is closing in.

– I played five so far, won two, drawn two and lost one. So, I have positive derby stats and I hope for more of it. The one I have special fondness for is the one we won 3-1.

Who needs to be particularly marked next weekend regarding derby opponents?

– They surely have good players and we probably have to look at Marko Marin and my Montenegro national team teammate Mirko Ivanic in particular.

Partizan is away to Crvena Zvezda.

– We are used to derby atmosphere as we have lots of experienced players. It`s best when you play it in front of packed stands of home fans whose energy boosts you all the way. But, once the game kicks-off all that matters is what happens on the pitch and we need to start the derby in the right way. I know Partizan fans will be with us.

You turned 24 last Sunday. What were your birthday wishes?

–  left it for next Saturday.

Strahinja Pavlovic:

– I waited all day to get onto the pitch and I can`t describe the feeling I had. We had good crowd behind us and fans made my debut even more special. I`d love to see more Partizan supporters on the stands in upcoming games.

You must have felt great responsibility when you subbed Markovic.

– Absolutely. I knew straight away there`s a great deal of responsibility involved but my teammates helped and cheered me on. Having Valiente next to me at all times meant a lot to me, he`s a great person and player.

You are known for being fearless.

– I picked up a booking but I had no intention to kick opponent`s player. It`s important we won and now we have this important derby game. Whoever plays on my and other team positions, it`s important we go out there in a right mood. Derby is different to any other game of the season and we need to take everything into the account.

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