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Pick me or drop me – Lovren fires message to Croatia coach

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has issued an apparent ultimatum in his row with Croatia coach Ante Cacic.

Cacic criticised Lovren for not warming up as instructed during last month’s 1-1 international friendly draw against Hungary.

Lovren returned to the bench in Budapest, where the player remained as an unused substitute, and Cacic insisted he “will not tolerate such acts”.

In an interview with Sportske Novosti, Lovren explained his actions and suggested he would not travel to Euro 2016 with Croatia unless he is offered guarantees over his place in the starting XI.

“I always get angry when the media comes out with half-truths so, to tell you what happened, the conditioning coach came to me and told me to go and warm up for 10 to 15 minutes,” Lovren said.

“I said okay and I started to warm up. After 15 minutes, when I finished warming up, I began to get cold because I didn’t have a jacket so went back to the bench.

“Then, after a minute, the fitness coach comes again and asks me ‘so why did you sit on the bench?’.

“I tell him he said to warm up for 10 to 15 minutes and I did it. Then he immediately said that to Cacic.

“Look, nobody in the world does not work [after] such long warming up. At Liverpool, when warmed-up, we enter the game or after 15 minutes go back to the bench.”

After questioning a perceived indecisiveness from Cacic over whether to play with a back three or back four in France, Lovren added: “I will not apologize, I will either travel to France as first XI player or I am not going.”

Sun 10 Apr, 2016
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