The news that Novi Beograd’s head coach Zivko Gocic doesn’t count on captain Dusan Mandic in the future period, published by the Serbian website Sport Klub, spread quickly.
Gocic isn’t satisfied with Mandic’s performances in the last matches.
We asked Novi Beograd’s director Slobodan Soro for his opinion.
“It was Zivko Gocic’s decision. The club management and I, as the director, accepted it because he makes all the decisions regarding the team. We support and trust our coach since all he does is in the team’s benefit. We believe that all decisions he makes are with the intention of achieving the best possible results, and he has good reasons for them”, Soro told Total Waterpolo.
Dusan Mandic’s future at Novi Beograd is questionable, but everything remains open. Mandic will maybe return to the team.
“Two months are left until the end of the season. We will see what will happen, everything is possible. But, as I said, all decisions regarding the team are up to our head coach”, Soro, who was Gocic’s and Mandic’s teammate in the national team and Partizan, said.
Later this afternoon, we reached Zivko Gocic, who explained his decision. He confirmed what was published yesterday.
“The only reason why Mandic isn’t on the team at the moment is his current shape.”, Gocic said shortly.
Dusan Mandic hasn’t commented on this situation yet.
In two days, Novi Beograd will organize the regular press conference before the continuation of the Serbian Championships. Novi Beograd will try to keep 1st place and enter the playoffs from the best starting position. With four rounds remaining until the end of the Champions League Group Stage, Novi Beograd is atop Group B. It is tied in points with Brescia, which will be the Serbian champion’s next rival in the CHL on April 4. Brescia will be the host. That match will probably be crucial in the battle for 1st place. Novi Beograd beat Brescia by two goals (11:9) in Belgrade.