FK Mogren hope being top of the Montenegrin table at the winter break does not prove to be a bad omen again with Miodrag Ješić, coach of champions FK Budućnost Podgorica, sure his side "will do better in the second part of the season".
The team from the seaside resort of Budva finished the autumn campaign four points ahead of Budućnost, but top spot is not necessarily something to celebrate at this stage. In both the previous post-independence seasons in Montenegro, the team that has topped the table in the winter - Budućnost and FK Zeta respectively - have ended up missing out on the big prize in the spring.
Sporting director Ilija Radjenović is not letting superstition get the better of him at the moment. "We made no secret of the fact that we wanted to win a title; we had said that at the start of the season," he said. "I think we have the best team, but there is no pressure. We don't work that way. We take things step by step because this team was only put together a year ago.
"Our long-term plan was to win one trophy in the current season, but we did it earlier than expected by winning the Montenegrin Cup in May 2008," he added. "So, we did better than expected." However, if nerves were not showing in the boardroom, they may have been jangling on the pitch. Mogren's loss at home to FK Sutjeska in the last game of 2008 allowed Budućnost to gain valuable ground.
Ješić, who took over at Budućnost four rounds into the season, is hoping that he can reinvigorate his squad during the coming months. "I didn't select this team or make the pre-season preparations, but now I will have more time to work with the squad," he said. "We plan to bring in new players in January transfer market. So, I am sure that Budućnost will do better in the second part of the season.
'We are the best'
"There will be no pressure on players to win both trophies, but we must do our best, because Budućnost is by far the biggest club in Montenegro," added the Serbian coach. "There is no big difference between teams in this league. We can feel it in many matches. But, everything depends on my players. If we play the way we usually play, we are the best team in the league."
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