“Your Team Has Confidence When Your Defence Can Survive All Attacks” : Bojan

Head coach Bojan was pleased as punch after the City Boys recorded our second win in a row, in the 2-0 result over Sabah at the Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium in Cheras on Saturday.


Speaking to the members of the media during the post match press conference, Bojan commented on the recent upturn in our fortunes.


“It’s good (feeling), I think that every coach wants to have full squad (to call upon). We play(ed) 2 matches at home, we won both and most important(ly) we didn’t concede (a) goal”, he said.


Commenting further, he heralded the growing improvements of the City Boys’ defensive unit that has been the telling difference to our recent results against Melaka Utd last week and Sabah today, particularly singling out Mendoza for his match winning double save in shutting out the The Rhinos.


“I think (in) the last match, Melaka (Utd) almost did not have clear chance. Today Sabah had 2, 3 shots from outside (the box) and 1 really good chance, that Kevin (Mendoza) saved. This is why we signed him. Except (for) this, I think that everything we did went quite well. This is (the) most important (thing). Your team has confidence when your defence can survive all attacks and when you have confidence, it’s much easier for (the) midfielders and strikers to play.”


He credited Ong Kim Swee in building a difficult side to break down but lavished praise on his offensive line in getting the job done and was certain we deserved the maximum haul of points.


“Sabah is very tough team, lots of good players, well organised. We can see their coaching staff doing everything properly. In their first 4 matches they only conceded two goals, tonight they conceded two more and we had a few more chances. Overall I think we had more chances, we deserved to win.”


The Croatian also expressed hope that Romel will deliver the goods for the team now that last season’s Malaysia Cup top gunner is getting better with each passing game, though Bojan knew it is still a work in progress after Romel’s long injury layoff.


He explained “Look he’s (Romel) coming back slowly, you see we missed him a lot in first 3, 4 matches. I think that every team in the country when you don’t have your top scorer you (will) miss him a lot. So you can see that he’s coming back (into form), he’s still not (entirely) fit but today he scored 2 goals, he had 1 or 2 more chances. Most important(ly) for me is that he is creating chances, (the) goals will come. The last game vs Melaka (Utd), he had 3 clear chances and this for strikers is normal you know (to not to score). So he just needs 1 (chance) to enter (for goal). So I hope that now he will start (scoring).”


The 50 year old also clarified that Koubemba’s absence from the starting eleven since the Johor DT game had only to do with the Congolese’s hamstring issue.


“No no (not tactical), he was injured, he was not fit, we didn’t want to risk (it). (The) physio(therapist) and (the) doctor approved for him to play (a) maximum (of) 45 minutes, so we gave (him) 30 minutes and you can see he did quite well. This is his natural position, (and) suddenly we became much more dangerous when he came in”.


On Declan’s substitution with half an hour to play, Bojan allayed concerns of any serious issue, except that the former was still coming to terms with fitness issues following a sustained period of being cold storaged at his previous employment.


“He’s okay. Declan’s problem is that (for) almost a year he played in Europe, in the Dutch Second Division but when they (his previous team) changed the coach, the (new) coach didn’t trust him (Declan). He was training but he didn’t play. So when you don’t play competitive matches for so long, sometimes you’ll be suffering from small problems (like) he’s having now. This is only cramps so (the) doctor and (the) physio(therapist) will see if we need to give him any extra nutrition.”


Finally, he was quizzed on his good luck charm orange bip, similar to the one he had on last year in the Red & White’s magnificent journey of triumph in the Malaysia Cup, which saw its appearance for the first time in the win last week, and again today. Ever the superstitious one, Bojan described how the bip came around this time.


“Last game vs Melaka Utd), the ref(eree) forced me (to distinguish myself) because I had (the) same colour as Melaka (Utd) and today (the) players asked me to wear it. It’s okay, I can wear this (for) the whole year if we are winning. When you’re winning, don’t change anything, don’t change (your) shoes, underwear, and..”


To read the match report of KL City vs Sabah on 16/4/2022 (Super League), please click https://kualalumpurfootball.com/2022/04/18/rhinos-gunned-down-in-cheras-hunter-romel-delivers-the-kill/


To watch the highlights of this match, please click https://youtu.be/7x2gPODnMmg


To watch the complete match, please click https://youtu.be/glcYsfHJnN4