New Croatia coach Ante Čačić named 23 players for the decisive qualifiers Bulgaria and Malta wioth. The new coach, who replaced Niko Kovač after Croatia fell to third place in Group H, has stayed loyal to his predecessor's choices, though calling on Josip Pivarić and Duje Čop.
"The national team's goals are clear," Čačić said. "The first imperative is to reach EURO 2016 and I will do my best to accomplish that goal. Don't ever doubt, my heart is with the national team."
Goalkeepers: Danijel Subašić (AS Monaco), Lovre Kalinić (Hajduk Split), Ivan Vargić (Rijeka)
Defenders: Darijo Srna (Shakhtar Donetsk), Šime Vrsaljko (Sassuolo), Marko Lešković (Rijeka), Vedran Ćorluka (Lokomotiv Moskva), Domagoj Vida (Dynamo Kyiv), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Danijel Pranjić (Panathinaikos), Josip Pivarić (Dinamo Zagreb)
Midfielders: Luka Modrić (Real Madrid), Milan Badelj (Fiorentina), Marcelo Brozović (Internazionale Milano), Mateo Kovačić (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitić (Barcelona), Ivan Perišić (Internazionale Milano)
Forwards: Nikola Kalinić (Fiorentina), Duje Čop (Cagliari), Marko Pjaca (Dinamo Zagreb), Ivica Olić (Hamburger SV), Mario Mandžukić (Juventus), Andrej Kramarić (Leicester City ).
HNS president Davor Šuker has been speaking about Niko Kovač's dismissal as Croatia coach, with the replacement to be appointed on 21 September ahead of the decisive qualifiers against Bulgaria and Malta ...
"Nobody could have predicted these kind of results in the last two matches. We made our situation complicated and we were not long ago first in the group. This was a unanimous decision by the executive board members.
"When Niko Kovač heard the decision he accepted it like a gentleman. We didn't talk about the candidates. We know it's very important for the Croatian people to go to EURO. We have already made history in France [finishing third at the 1998 FIFA World Cup] and I hope we will go through these crises and go to France again. All Croatian coaches are under observation, we will find a man who will take us to EURO."
Search for a new head coach will be led by president Davor Šuker and technical director Romeo Jozak. New coach is expected by 21 September.— HNS | CFF (@HNS_CFF) September 9, 2015
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