Maribor coach Ante Šimundža was critical of the reserves after the defeat to Celje: “I was disappointed with the quality and the training”
Photo: Vid Ponikvar / Sportida
Penultimate match 16. Circle of the Slovenian championship was a derby in the true sense of the word. Maribor and Celje attracted 6,500 spectators to the stands of Ljudski vrt, but those who had their fingers crossed for the Violistas went home disappointed. Ante Šimundža and his team lost 0:1 after he scored in the 70th minute. Mark Zabukovnik scored in the first minute of the second half after a big mistake by the home defence, increasing Celje’s advantage over this time’s opponent to 12 points.
Ante Šimundža, after the defeat to Telemach, the leading club of the First League, expectedly did not hide his disappointment and dissatisfaction, but it was mainly the players who came off the bench who put him in a bad mood.
“It’s easy to wise up after a game. The fact is that some things happened that were beyond our control. For our part, we have been strategically good. This was proved in the first half, which we played well, but not perfectly, because we didn’t score. The opponent did not allow us to do so. Vrhovec’s injury affected the team afterwards, and the reserves didn’t bring what they brought to the game in the previous game. Quality and energy. Celje dominated in this one. I expected us to react better in the difficulties we found ourselves in. Because I always say that the problems are there to be solved. It is true that the Celjanians made our mistake, which only confirms that our process is not a short-term job. Celjani scored a goal and deservedly won,” said Ante Šimundža after the match against the club from the capital.
The Maribor coach went on to praise Blaž Vrhovec: “First thing. Vrhovec is right about attitudes and perceptions. That’s why he played the way he did. Because it has that energy. He replaced Pihler, who was injured in the last training session, very well. Then Blaž was injured during the match. A new situation beyond our control. The fall was not dangerous, but it was fatal. The players were shocked, looking at each other and thinking how to move forward. We need to fix it, we need to work on it. When a complication like this happens, we need to be back in the game immediately. Here was the problem this time.”
Ante Šimundža: ‘Maribor wants to be first’
Ante Šimundža admitted that the injury to Aleks Pihler had spoiled his tactical plan before the game.If Pihler had been healthy, Pihler would have started in the first line-up. Then Vrhovec would have entered if what happened to Pihler today had happened to him. That’s how we worked in training. This is how the positions were divided. Lorber and Repas are not classic sixes, so I then tried two sixes, which gave them space. In the first half, we were able to close down their midfield, but in the second half, after the substitution, we were no longer able to do so. If we want to play at a high level, we need to be able to react. It’s all about.”
After the substitutes came on, Maribor’s game was falling. Substitutions did not have the desired effect. Ante Šimundža was, as I said, disappointed with the performance of the reserves. “I don’t know what happened. I was disappointed with the quality and the training. As positive as I was after the Domžale game, I am negative this time. As I say, it is not. We gave them time and space. We didn’t want that. It doesn’t matter what formation we play in. In the second half, they took over the ‘spaces in between’ that were ours in the first half. In the first half, they were just like us in the defensive phase. Like us in the first part, they were also in convulsions at that time,” said Ante Šimundža.
The coach of the Styrian giant claims that Maribor will continue to stir the pot in the battle for the championship title: “We will fight for the top. We are not worried about 12 points behind, Maribor wants to finish first. I see the progress of the team, but how this is realised in the game is something else at the moment. I always wanted us to be competitive and today, after the injury, we were not. We need to fix that.”
This text was automatically translated using AI.