John Toshack is very concerned about the attacking department ahead of the EURO 2012 qualifier against Armenia.
As Toshack told Macedonian newspaper Nova Makedonija, six attackers withdrew from the squad (4 through injuries and 2 due to commitments with the U21 team) for the upcoming match against Armenia. First, Goran Pandev and Agim Ibraimi were removed from the squad after being evaluated by the team doctor. Then, Toshack’s next two options, Ilco Naumoski and Ferhan Hasani, were also not available due to injuries. Hasani complained of an injury and will also not play for the U21 team while Naumoski was also apparently hurt despite playing all 90 minutes this past Saturday for his club team. Toshack then wanted to call up Aleksandar Trajkovski and Samir Fazli from the U21 team but Boban Babunski, the manager of the U21 team, wanted those two strikers for the opening qualifier against Serbia so Toshack decided to let those players stick with the U21 team.
Macedonia U21 only plays on Friday so Trajkovski and Fazli should be added to the senior national team for the match against Slovakia on 11 October 2011. However, they will not be available for the Armenia game so Toshack will count on only four attackers in Ivan Trickovski, Mario Gjurovski, Mirko Ivanovski, and Filip Ivanovski for that game.
Toshack called the addition of Mario Gjurovski as the last option since he doesn’t play for his club team but there were not many options. Toshack was pleased with the play of Gjurovski in past matches for Macedonia so he decided to add him despite not playing for his club team.
Speaking of Stevica Ristić, Toshack told Nova Makedonija the following, “For Ristić to come from South Korea now is too late but regardless, he is still in my plans. However, despite being in form at the moment, he has only scored one goal in 16 appearances for Macedonia. To date, we only played two matches since I became manager and it’s difficult to see all the players.”