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2017. Június 06. 19:01  -  David Rechnitzer
Marko Nikolic: You could say that I am a fanatic when it comes to work

We spoke in depth with the new manager of Videoton Football Club. 

Our new manager does not find excuses but believes in his work. We sat down to talk with Marko Nikolic after he signed the contract with the club. The 37 year old coach revealed why he decided to leave the league and cup double winning Partizan. We also found out why he decided to go down the path of management 20 years ago.

I am sure that you know that with a name like yours, it is a must to be successful....

This is a popular name in Serbia (laughter). Naturally I do no know Nemanja, who is a good player and scores many goals wherever he plays. He is currently leading the MLS goal scoring table with a Serbian colleague of mine, Veljko Paunovics. I believe 100% that I can be just as successful here as he was. I think that everyone would be satisfied with this.

You celebrated the league and cup double with Partizan at the end of the 2016/17 season as a manager. Why did you decide on making the change?

Partizan are well known throughout the region as they have won the league 27 times. They have also managed to win the league and cup double six times. I feel that I have achieved what I can do within club football in Serbia. We also made it to the Europa League group stage besides winning the league and the cup. The supporters also liked me. I am grateful to them and it is a great honour when the whole stadium sings my name. When I went there, around 2000 were on the stands, but that became 25000 in the end. I would like to do something similar here in Szekesfehervar. I needed a new challenge and would like to thank Hungary and primarily Vidi that they have given me the chance. I would like to win the double as I did with Partizan in Serbia.

How well did you know the team beforehand?

I think I know them well enough. As a Serbian manager, you do not only follow the top sides on a daily basis, but also the football within the region. That means Poland, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland or even Hungary. I am familiar with the competition and the other teams, the coaches, the managers and many players. I feel that we have a good team that is capable of winning the Hungarian league. It is a well run club that I have arrived at and the squad is strong. There are experienced players and also young ones. I am sure that the competition to get into the team will be big. We will be working to make the club successful as they have been over recent seasons. I know that the new stadium is being built, which is an important event in the life of a club. I am pleased to be part of this development. We must not forget that results do not just come along. Everyone must work hard from the first day until the last if we are to be successful!

At the moment you will become the youngest manager of a NBI side next season. You made your debut as the youngest ever manager of a Serbian first division side in 2008. Why did you decide at such a young age to work as a head coach?

I played in the youth international side, but I could not keep up with my earlier team mates due to an injury. I played in several positions and was also a full back, winger but I was happiest as the classical number 10. I did not have a big career. My character did not allow me to just be average in something. I want to be the best in what I do. When I started to work, I told myself that either I would become the best manager in the country, or I would do something different! I worked with young players for 7 years, before becoming the youngest manager in the Serbian first division. I will also be among the young coaches here, but perhaps the most experienced as I have worked non stop for 17 years, which include matches in Europe as well. 

What kind of Vidi can the supporters count on for next season?

The team that wants to win needs stability in each element. We need to know how to build up attacks and how to organise the players, as well as how to switch from defence to attack. How to finish off moves and how to close down the opponents if we lose the ball. We need to know how to defend the areas and how to defend inside the box. It is also important to take advantage of set pieces. If something is missing from these, then we are not a serious side. Serious teams play football with stability. Everyone likes to say that they want to see attacking football. OK, this does sound good. However, what is behind it? I would also like to win each game 6-0. If it is possible, naturally we would win by scoring many goals and not conceding any. But it is not this simple. The main thing is to find the balance in the things listed above and then we will be successful. 

There isn't too much time until the first competitive game. The qualifier will take place on the 29th June. What are your plans for the period ahead?

Pre-season will begin on Thursday with the medicals. We will then travel next week to Austria for a 10 day training camp. I would like us to play 4 games there. We will know our opponents on the 19th for the Europa League qualifiers. We do not have too much time, but this cannot be an excuse. We do not have the need to make excuses. We need to do our things and then we can win everything in Hungary. If we can be lucky in the draw, we could be successful in Europe. We will probably only be seeded for the first two rounds. That is why I talked about luck. However, let us not run too far ahead as the next match ahead is always the most important one. 

You probably know Danko Lazovic the most from the current squad as you previously worked together twice. How much do you know the other squad members?

I have seen several Vidi matches recently so I do know the players. I knew some of them when I was working as a manager elsewhere. I will not mention names as I never talk about individuals in the open. I am responsible for all of the players together with the other coaches. It is natural that I will always defend them and stand beside them. This is my thinking, but it does not mean that we cannot discuss things within the dressing room. I do not want anyone to expect me to discuss the players to the media.

The most important information regarding Marko Nikolic can be found on the internet. At the end of the day, the manager will go home to his family. What does Marko Nikolic do when he is not focusing on football?

I am married and have a daughter who will soon be 2 years old. My wife really loves Hungary so we have plenty of work to do now, but she will follow me out to this country shortly. My family is very important to me and I would like to spend quality time with them. I am also very dedicated and you could say that I am a fanatic when it is about working. I know that few are given the chance to do what they really want to do. I belong to that group and I am very grateful for that.

VIDEOTON FC - Minden jog fenntartva
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