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Katanec considering options after play-off defeat

Slovenia head coach Srecko Katanec refused to look to the future after missing out on Euro 2016 qualification, losing 3-1 on aggregate to Ukraine on Tuesday.

Ukraine took a 2-0 lead to Maribor, and secured their place in next year’s tournament with a 1-1 draw, with Andriy Yarmolenko netting a 97th-minute equaliser following Bostjan Cesar’s opener.

Katanec refused to confirm he would continue his role and admitted he would need time to consider his options.

“No, no. I’m not thinking [about the future],” he said. “We will see what will happen in the next days, months. Qualifiers start in September. Who, what, why, by whom? We’ll see.

“I have a signed contract. Contracts may be terminated… but you know yourself that in the past I was very pleased with how some things went. The role of coach is so difficult to do. I’ll see what and how to move forward.”

He added: “Congratulations to Ukraine. Many congratulations. They played a fantastic game. I do not have anything to say, it’s unfortunate.

“Both games were played at a high level. Unfortunately, we missed the final ball which is always crucial.

“The guys should once again be congratulated for their display. The crowd was fantastic except those torches [thrown from the stands], which were unnecessary.”

Slovenia defender Branko Ilic believes their two-goal deficit from the first leg made the task more difficult.

“We wanted to show our resolve, and we had a good match. But it finished 1-1,” he said.

“We could’ve won it. We waited for that second goal, but it didn’t come. The second goal in the first leg proved to be too much. We can be proud of ourselves, even though we will not be at the finals.”

Wed 18 Nov, 2015
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