“I also think that it was a failure because I wanted Iran to qualify for the Olympic Games. It was our main goal. We still have some chances for that, in May, but it is going to be tough. No matter what, I believe that we can do it, but only if we play volleyball and don’t think about what happened before,” Serbian coach said.
“Before the World Cup I was optimistic because, for example, we beat some top team in friendlies, like Russia, but as long as my players don’t change their attitude and way of thinking they won’t make any progress. When they came to Japan, they all woke up with only one thought – we will beat Argentina easily. They didn’t think about their own play. When they lost this game, everything went downhill for them like they didn’t have to play 10 more games. Before every next game I tried to regain their confidence, to explain them that nothing is over yet, but there was no rescue for them and that’s how they finished the tournament,” Kovač added.
“I have always been giving my best. Iranian Federation has a problem with me because I hired my compatriots as assistants and they want Iranians to be in the coaching staff. We are 8th on the FIVB’s ranking list at the moment and it is a better placement for three spots than before me. So, they have to be more realistic. They can’t have all at once. They think that this was a failure? OK, no problem, that’s the end of story. I won’t argue with them, because it’s hard enough to be a foreigner in Iran. But, they forget one thing. At all three major tournaments – World Championship, World League and World Cup, I didn’t have my first opposite hitter Shahram Mahmoudi available and without him it’s difficult. At first two competitions he had an ankle problem, but in Japan he suffered a back injury, which he has never had before,” Kovač spoke bluntly about his status on Iranian bench.
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