Ljubinko Drulović, FYR Macedonia coach
In the first half, we did not play well. Unfortunately, we were a bit chaotic and lacked confidence after conceding the early goal. We did not come to Slovakia as favourites and we knew about the strengths of the home team, but we were still surprised by the early goal and Slovakia's offensive pressure in the opening minutes. We didn't intend to play so deep, but we were pushed back by our opponents. We had to adapt our game plan to the match itself.
In the second half, we realised we're able to play more attacking football and were no longer afraid to play with the ball. We were more relaxed and played with ease, opened up at the back and were able to come forward. We have lot of work ahead us, but I think the future is bright for our football. We have skilful players.
FK Rabotnicki central defender Darko Velkoski has been called up to the FYR Macedonia squad for Sunday's Group C game against Slovakia in Zilina as a late replacement for the injured Vance Sikov. "After Sikov's injury, I was looking for more alternatives in his position," coach Ljubinko Drulović explained. "Velkoski is one of the most talented Macedonian players and I am sure he can respond to the challenge if necessary."
The 19-year-old played on Thursday in FYR Macedonia's 3-0 defeat in Iceland in their opening 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifier, and is expected to join up with the senior squad today at their training base in Rajecke Teplice, about 15 kilometers south of Zilina.
|Full UEFA competition record|
|UEFA European Football Championship||54||11||13||30|
|FIFA World Cup||50||11||10||29|