Today: UEFA Europa League match in Budapest – MOL Vidi FC vs BATE Borisov
MOL Vidi FC faces BATE Borisov on Thursday evening in the Europa League Group Stage. The first group game will be played at Groupama Arena in Budapest.
BATE train at the Groupama Arena
The Belarusian side had a press conference on Wednesday, which was followed by training.
FK BATE Borisov arrived to Hungary on Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s Europa League group stage match. Manager Aleksey Baga and Nemaja Milunovic faced the media.
“We have watched the games of MOL Vidi FC. They are a strong side that has faced serious opponents like Dudelange, Ludogorets and Malmö and have gone through. We are talking about a well-organised opponent with international players. It will be a difficult game.”
“We have several injured players and Aleksandr Hleb and Nikolai Signevich did not travel with us to Hungary. We will have to face Vidi without them. However, our squad is still strong enough without these players and there are others that will grab the chance and show they have a place in the team. I read in the Serbian papers about Danko Lazovic, but honestly I am not sure that he will end his playing career now or at the end of the season. We need to respect his decision and I wish him lots of luck in the future.”
BATE then held a training session at the Groupama Arena following the press conference. The first 15 minutes were open to the media.
Marko Nikolic: We came here to get results
Manager Marko Nikolic and Máté Pátkai were present on Wednesday afternoon to meet the media.
Marko Nikolic gave his thoughts:
“I am pleased to be sitting here and representing the club and Hungarian football in the Europa League Group Stage. It is important for us to perform at this level. Perhaps a few draws would draw a little bit of attention, but it would not really help us in going through. We have targets both now and long term. We did not come here to mess around, but to pick up results. We are in the middle of a process and not at the end of it. We did not get here by luck and we want to show that we can represent quality that is needed to pick up the challenge against a side like BATE.
The Belarus side have many international players that are experienced. They have a strong past both in Champions League and Europa League football. There have some Serbian players and I know what they are capable of doing, but naturally we have done our work on the whole of their team. I never talk about tactics and I will not do it now. They will be favourites if you just look at the coefficient points. We need to turn the paper form on to its head. I think we are in one of the strongest groups in the Europa League this year. There is no connection at all between the weekend game and the one on Thursday.
The tempo will be different as well as the tactics and the great motivation within the players. It is one thing playing in front of a few hundred people and another in front of many thousands. I hope it will be a full house” -explained manager Marko Nikolic.
He continued “It is a real pity about the injury to Ádám Kovácsik as he has been the long term number one keeper at our club. He is also a member of the national team squad. I wish him a speedy recovery. We have another two keepers in our squad, and whichever one plays will get my full backing. One thing certain is that there will be 10 players in front of him who will be trying to stop goals going in. Some players over the summer have left like Stefan Scepovic who is not in our squad and József Varga, who recently left the club were all down to decisions and my responsibility. This is football and players come and go, but our aims have not changed.
It is not my responsibility regarding Danko Lazovic. All I will say is that I have worked with him at three clubs and I know him well. He is not only an excellent player but also has a great personality. He always wants to win and move ahead. Fortunately we have other similar mentally strong players in our squad like Juhász, Fiola, Vinicius, Huszti or even Pátkai. I am sad that Danko is no longer with us but I respect his decision. However, I think he could have played at this level for some years still.”
Mate Pátkai also gave his reaction:
“I remember back to our game with BATE in 2015, which was a fairly balanced Champions League qualifier. Perhaps we were not as strong then as we are now, but we did not go through. Now we need to show that we are a better team. Thursday’s game will be decided on small details and we need to keep the 3 points at home. This is the first time that I am playing in a group stage so I want to grab the chance and make it a success. We will need everyone to do their best. We will need to be relaxed and not be tense on the pitch, but in Europe, mistakes are punished. We wil need to be fully focused and also enjoy ourselves. We want the club to achieve its targets. If that means defending for 80% of the game, we will do this. We will not get as many chances as in an NB I match, but we need to convert what comes our way.
We will be at home in front of many supporters so when else should we want to win but now?”
Source: molvidi.hu – Press release