Boban Babunski, along with Darko Micevski and Stefan Ashkovski, were present during today’s press conference ahead of the Portugal qualifier on Friday.
Macedonia U21 will have its sixth match of the UEFA Euro 2015 qualifying tournament tomorrow. The opponent is Portugal, current leaders in the group. Earlier on Thursday, Boban Babunski, Stefan Ashkovski and Darko Micevski were present to talk about the match against Portugal.
‘We have several new, young players. They are all players we have been following for some time now. They are active in their clubs and have the potential to be leaders of the U21 team in the future. Portugal is a strong team, with great individual players. Them being first place on the table is not a coincidence. During our first match against them, we were equal in the first hour but then we lost our focus and our opponent capitalized. I expect us to be much more compact tomorrow and try to get a better result’ said U21 national team manager Boban Babunski.
‘Portugal is a great opponent, but we will give our best to get as good a result as possible in front of our fans’ added Ashkovski. Darko Micevski has similar opinion: ‘Portugal is a very strong team, but we will try to exploit their weaknesses. Whenever I play for Macedonia, I get a special feeling. During these days we have analyzed Portugal’s play and all I can say now is to invite the fans to come and enjoy the match’.
Macedonia has so far gathered only 4 points after 5 matches. Besides Portugal, they will need to face Israel twice, home and away for completion of what seems as another lost qualification tournament. That is why, Babunski, in cooperation with Gjurovski, have decided to release several of the more experienced U21 players who will not be eligible for the next qualification tournament to the seniors team and in their stead call up younger players who will be eligible to play during the 2017 qualifications tournament.
The match between Macedonia and Portugal will be played at the National Arena Philip II of Macedon and will kick off at 18.00 CET. Robert Rogers of Ireland will be the referee.