Ivan Trickovski's goals have helped FK Rabotnicki take a commanding lead in the Macedonian table, while promoted FK Milano are upsetting the established order.
Over a third of the way through the Prva Liga season, Rabotnicki are looking unstoppable. Still unbeaten after 12 games, they are eight points clear of second-placed Milano and a further point ahead of traditional rivals FK Vardar. They underlined their commanding position with a 4-2 win against reigning champions FK Pobeda – who are languishing in seventh place – at the weekend.
"It's good that we are on a winning run," said Trickovski, who has scored eight league goals this season and was recently promoted from the Under-21s to the senior F.Y.R. Macedonia squad. "Everybody knows our ambitions. In every match, we go for three points to achieve our goal of winning the title. I hope that we can continue in this style. It's early days, but I hope we will take the championship."
Rabotnicki's task has become more comfortable since Milano lost their way in recent weeks. The Kumanovo-based side had been matching the Skopje giants stride for stride but hit a sticky patch at the start of October, losing two games in succession – incuding a 2-1 home defeat against Rabotnicki. Coach Bilbilj Sokoli was fired, with former Rabotnicki boss Gjore Jovanovski taking over.
Milano captain Ivica Gligorovski said: "We are playing well and everybody at the club and our fans hope that we will play in Europe next season. We have great opponents but I do not think Rabotnicki can carry on like this. After a great season in the UEFA Cup [where they reached the first round] they will have a crisis so the most important thing is for us to play better and better."
Former Milano boss Sokoli did not stay out of work for long, taking over at FK Renova – now fifth – following Vlatko Kostov's resignation. Meanwhile, there has been excitement at bottom side FK Shkendija 79 with former international forward Artim Sakiri signing up for the rest of the season. He was the star man as they earned their first win of the season – 1-0 against fellow strugglers FK Cementarnica 55 on Sunday.
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