DFP Header

Rijeka Preview | The Manager’s Press Conference

August 14, 2019 5:32 pm Author: AFC Media Team
Rijeka Preview | The Manager’s Press Conference

The game

“If it is half time in the tie.

“We have come back from Croatia with a poor result. We are kicking ourselves that we have allowed it to get to 2-0. Having watched the game back, the match was uneventfully for the vast majority of it. A lot of our work was good, but we wanted to show more in that game and carry more of an attacking threat.

“In any game when it is finally balanced, there is no real room for error and it is important tomorrow night that we go out and try and win both half’s and try and set about that task. We cannot be gung-ho and negligent but have to be measured and confident and have a belief that if we can replicate previous home performances, albeit against a strong opponent.

“If we do that we will certainly make it interesting but we know that we have got it all to do. We are well aware of that. We know our responsibilities tomorrow night and we recognise the strength of our opponent. We recognise they are in charge of the game and it is up to us to change the course of events and get the game going our way.

“We have to be as bright and confident and play with as much tempo as possible.”

Team news

“Sam is out unfortunately.

“As an important a player as he is, we have to deal without important players. We are still without Craig Bryson as well. We have shown that we can get to a level of performances in the past without key players.

“We have enough of an attacking threat in the team and we should not be solely reliant on Sam.

“The nature of building a squad is to make sure you carry enough threats from different areas of the team and we hope to show that tomorrow night.

“There was a bit of lethargy in the legs on Sunday after the away game on Thursday but they are fully prepared for tomorrow. The players are well rested now. The players are focused. We have had a good couple of days and had a good meeting this morning. We know what we need to do and hopefully we can carry that out.

“It is a game we feel positive about and it is a game we feel that we can get going our own way.

“I am sure the players will be doing all they can to show that is the case.

“I think you saw with Rijeka’s game at the weekend, similar to ourselves they rested a few players. I think last Thursday took a lot out of both teams. Although there was not a lot of penalty box action in the game, a lot of the work was done between both boxes.

“We need to make sure there is a bit more activity in their penalty box tomorrow night.”

Result is everything

“We would love to make this is a game to be remembered and spoken about for the right reasons.

“What the players feel is how feel about the game.

“The result is everything.

“You can dissect a performance, you can dissect possession, opportunities and all the rest of it but it is the result that matters.

“We need a bit more from everything when in possession and need a bit more from middle to front to go and show our capabilities.

“We have put ourselves in this position. I think it was a soft penalty that gave them the initiative and a lift in the game at an important time. But there is no point in going over that again and again.

“As I say we know what needs to be done and we aim to go out and try win a game of football. If we do that, we will be close to getting the desired outcome.”

Not Impossible

“I am not looking at this as an impossible task.

“I will be as positive as I can be with my team tomorrow. We will try and get the game going our way. We have to go and ask the question and plant the seed that there are not going to get things all their own way but we are also aware that they have a good counter attacking threat.

“They are an athletic team and they have good individual players and we going to have to be mindful of that.

“We are respectful of the Croatian team and their strengths as individuals. We recognise that they were the favourites before the tie and even more so now but the tie is not done.

“I think our supporters will understand that but the supporters need to see a team tomorrow with the intention of overturning this and getting after them. That is the type of team I want us to be tomorrow. Hopefully the goals will come as a consequence for that.”

The Supporters

“If the crowd is anything like the last three home games they will help us.

“They were the way they were because of what was happening in front of them. They saw a team with speed and intention and quality.

“We have scored ten goals here in the three games we have played at Pittodrie and we hope to add to that tomorrow.

“Certainly the crowd can help the players, especially when there are lulls in the play or when Rijeka have spells in possession. They will have spells of dominance, we will not get it all our own way for 90 minutes. We have to make the most of our periods of dominance in the game.

“So the crowd can help not only when we are on top, but can help us when we need to be smart with our work.

“I am looking forward to it. I can picture how Pittodrie is going to be. I can visualise how the game is going to play out and let’s hope it comes to fruition.


“We have to be patient, but we can do that and still bring a tempo to the game. You can still demonstrate both. Patience, intelligence and composure – all these things are important but there has also got to that fire as well. There has to be that tempo and speed. Risk and reward at the right times. Hopefully we can get the balance of all that right.

“I am just glad we have the opportunity in front of our own supporters to try and right a few wrongs from last week.”