The Slovenia Times

Katanec Confirmed as New Slovenia Coach


The expectations are high considering that Katanec oversaw what is considered the golden era of Slovenian football.

He led the team between 1998 and 2002, taking it to the Euro in 2000 and the World Cup in 2002. In 47 games under his watch, Slovenia recorded 18 wins, 16 draws and 13 defeats.

"My heart is beating like I'm the head coach the first time. I'm aware of the responsibility and the expectation of the public of renewed success," Katanec said during the hour-long press conference.

His first test will come on 6 February in a friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina, less than two months before qualifying for the World Cup 2014 resumes.

"It's going to be a tough game. We'll be playing a team that I think is among the top ten in the world," he said.

Katanec succeeds Slaviša Stojanović, who left as coach in December after Slovenia won just three points from four qualifying games to trail leaders Switzerland by seven points.

He refused to analyse the reasons for Stojanović's failure. "I don't want to bring up negative things...He's an OK guy, but in football not everything goes according to plans."

Katanec says he has set himself no specific goals. Indeed, he says it was wrong that Stojanović was expected to take the team to the World Cup.

The new coach would not delve into the specifics of his new line-up, but he said he would call up 20 for the game against Bosnia, including the core of Stojanović's team.

"I'm interested in all the best players," he said.


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