PREVIEW-Football-nowhere to hide against Scotland, says Croatian Petkovic
Croatia’s decisive match against Scotland at Hampden Park on Tuesday will show whether the 2018 World Cup finalists still have the courage to succeed on the big stage, striker Bruno Petkovic said. After poor performances in a 1-0 loss to England and a 1-1 draw against the Czechs, Croatia must beat the Scots to maintain hope of qualifying for the round of 16 in Group D .
“The game against Scotland will give all the answers,” the imposing 26-year-old striker said at a press conference at Croatian coastal base camp Rovinj on Sunday. “We have been below par so far, as our performances and the scoring show. We know that in the end we will only be judged on results and the clash with Scotland is the perfect opportunity to show that we always have what it takes.
“The Scots are a tough compact team to eliminate and that is clear from their 0-0 draw with England at Wembley. But we have to try to capitalize on their shortcomings.” Manager Zlatko Dalic’s strategy of deploying winger Ante Rebic as a ‘false nine’ at Petkovic’s expense backfired in both matches, with Croatia looking more comfortable and threatening after coming into the league. Game.
Dalic knows Croatia is skating on thin ice. “I’m not happy and I don’t feel comfortable going into the last group game,” he told Croatian media after his side came back from behind to save a draw against the Czechs.
“It’s not Croatia that I wanted or planned, but we have one more chance to get it right. The performances have not been encouraging and we can get very few positives from the first two games. because the results dictate the atmosphere. ” The Scots, on the other hand, are in high spirits after a tough performance against England at Wembley, but know they too need a win to stay in the race for the last 16 as they have been beaten by the Czechs 2-0 in their opener. .
Their center-back Grant Hanley stressed that a superb defensive display against England will only be rewarded if they can deliver to the other end against Croatia. “Of course we want to finish the job now and not ruin what we did on Friday night,” he said.
“We are really looking forward to it and we will have to be prepared physically and mentally if we are to progress in the squad.” England face the Czech Republic at Wembley in Tuesday’s other group match. (Written by Zoran Milosavljevic; edited by Andrew Cawthorne;)
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