By Fuad Krvavac
FK Leotar are relishing the challenge of the UEFA Champions League. The club won the Bosnia-Herzegovina Premier League for the first time last season, and coach Mile Jovin hopes that his team will be worthy representatives of the country on the European stage. Jovin spoke to uefa.com as he prepared for tonight's first qualifying round second-leg encounter against CS Grevenmacher, after last week’s goalless draw in Luxembourg.
uefa.com: Have you had much time to enjoy your success, given that you have had to start competitive action so quickly?
Mile Jovin: Following a very difficult season, we deserved to win the title. Of course, we did not have that much time to celebrate - on the contrary, even more responsibilities are awaiting us. We will try to represent Bosnian football in Europe in the best possible way.
uefa.com: Is it difficult to prepare for a European club competition match at this time of the year? How have you prepared for this tie?
Jovin:It is very difficult, even more so in Trebinje, Herzegovina, where we have very high temperatures in summer. The players had a break of ten days. We started intensive preparations immediately, and so far we have not had any difficulties.
uefa.com: What is the club's realistic ambition as far as the UEFA Champions League is concerned?
Jovin: Our ambition is to pass the first qualifying round. Qualification for the third qualifying round would be measured as a sensation, and would bring great recognition for Leotar and Bosnian football as a whole.
uefa.com: What were the important factors that helped you win the title?
Jovin: The key to my team's success was great team spirit. The team was well co-ordinated, and in that context, individuals also had a possibility to show their talents.
uefa.com: Tell us about your coaching philosophy. Are you a tactician or a motivator?
Jovin: A coach should be complete. An expert, instructor, psychologist and motivator. I devote much of the time to technical and tactical preparations, and to motivation not only of the whole team, but also of every single player. If a coach wants success, he has to know every player's every heartbeat. Every player is different - some react to harsher words, some only to a good conversation. A coach has to know the good and bad sides of his players' footballing and human qualities.
uefa.com: Are you someone who gets worked up or excited on the bench?
Jovin: A performance and the result depend a lot on the coach on the bench. In my nature, I am pretty calm during the 90 minutes. I follow the performance of every player on the pitch, from my team and the opposition. I try to keep self-control during the entire match, but sometimes I also jump off the bench and shout out words of motivation. On other occasions, I try to calm emotions and nervousness. I participate completely in every game, and the players and I function as one body. They understand all of my words and signs. I think I am psychologically very stable - the players know that and trust me, and this is one very important factor for the success of a team.
uefa.com: And finally, tell us about your own ambitions for the future...
Jovin: As a coach I want to evolve constantly, and I follow all the latest developments in Europe and the world. I have huge ambitions in this job, and I will try to realise them in the time to come.
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