Slaven Speaks - NK Domzale

Slaven Bilic faced the media for the first time and talked about the excitement of playing the first ever game at the new Stadium, the adjustments his players will have to make, the latest team-news and provides an update on the Club's search for new players....

Ahead of the first competitive game at the new Stadium, how does it feel to be leading the Club into a new era?

SB: “It feels good. I want to start by saying that a couple of young players from Maribor yesterday had a car crash and died and the goalkeeper is injured, so my deepest condolences to them and I hope the goalkeeper will be okay.

“We have been talking about the new Stadium for a long time but now it is done and it is great that we have sold out Season Tickets. It is now up to us to play good and to keep the amount of people who are coming to watch hungry and motivated to watch us all the time.”


Which players will be missing for the game and when will Dimitri Payet be back in action?

SB: “Dimitri is joining us later in the week and we will not have have James Collins or Angelo Ogbonna available for the game. It is too early for them and they have not had the right amount of training.

“We are without a few injured players like Cresswell, but we have a good team and have been training hard.

“We had a negative result in the first game and we know we will have to play better than what we did in the first leg.

“We have a job to do against a team who know how to play good football. Me and my staff knew that before the first game but I am confident we are going to play better than what we did in Slovenia and that we will beat them with the result that will see us qualify for the play-off stages.”


You talked about Aaron Cresswell being injured. Does that mean you are stepping up your search to sign a new left back?

SB: “We were looking to strengthen our squad in that area, even before Aaron got injured as it was the only position that we didn't have options.

“Aaron is a very fit player and since he joined the Club a couple of seasons ago, he has only missed one game and Carl Jenkinson had to play on the left side.

“We were looking to bring someone in to have competition with Cressy. We like to have two good players in every position.

“We are not the only ones looking for a new left back and it is hard to find a good player who we like. With Cressy get inured it has now become a priority and we have a few options there.

“Players like Sam Byram, Angelo Ogbonna and Havard Nordtveit can play there but it is not their natural position. We are close to getting one of the new players.”


What is the latest situation with Manuel Lanzini?

SB: “Lanzini is another blow for us. He was with us for the first part of the pre-season tour in America and then joined up with the Argentina team for the Olympics and got injured in a friendly game against Columbia.

“He got a kick on his knee. It was not a big injury but he cannot play for four or five weeks. I think he will miss the first three Premier League games which is not ideal so he will hopefully be back after the Manchester City game."

Bilic interview