Croatia manager Niko Kovac has stated that he is intent on getting three points in the opening match of the World Cup 2014. Having said that, this is no easy feat according to the manager. This is because Croatia will be coming up against hosts Brazil. The other group opponents like Mexico and Cameroon will be the remaining group matches. However, facing against Brazil in front of their home supporters is going to be a very difficult task for Croatia, but Kovac is confident that his team can take something from the match.
Croatia have been highly inconsistent over the last few years and this has resulted in Kovac’s appointment at just before the qualifying round came to an end. He just managed to get the team into the World Cup 2014 by narrowly avoiding an embarrassment. After having qualified, Kovac has set his sights on reaching the knockout stages of the tournament. There are only four weeks to go before the start of the campaign. Croatia have reached the World Cup finals on four occasions in the past. They have never won the trophy in their history.
The presence of top quality players like Luka Modric and Mario Mandzukic, though, has put them as second favourites to progress from group stages.
“I think Brazil are the obvious favourites. They are one of the best sides in the world, after all. But second place is wide open. We will try to make it difficult for them but it won’t be easy. Look at 2006, though, when we gave them a very difficult game. Dida made some good saves and Brazil needed a cracking goal from Kaka to win. I remember that I only played about half an hour in that game and had to go off with an injury. I hope I’ll be able to have a bit more influence this time,” said the manager.