Janković: We Have Improved But Still a Long Way to Go

After a 0-0 draw with the New Zealand national team in Auckland, China moved to Wellington on the 24th local time, and the two sides will play their second warm-up match of this international match day at 11 a.m. Beijing time on the 26th.

Before the match, head coach Jankovic said that this game expects the national football team to perform at the offensive end, while the team will still expect a good result.


Breaking the dry spell

The national football team has adapted to the overall intensity of the game, the entire second half is completely dominated by China, who took the initiative: Wu Lei counter-attacking long runs failed to score: the Number 7 gave a long-distance run early in the half, but the high left-footed overhead shot at the edge of the box was blocked by the opponent’s goalkeeper. Then a successful harassment on the backline by Shanghai Port Striker caused the opponent’s Tommy Smith, All Whites’ center-back to be shown a red card, giving the team a numerical advantage. Communication broke down between Smith, the All Whites captain, and goalkeeper Oli Sail in the 63rd minute as to who would pick up Nando Pijnaker’s backpass. But China’s offense blossomed without bearing any fruits. The two sides ended the game with a scoreless draw. After the game,  Aleksandar Janković, recently promoted from heading the U23 national team, says he is very sorry for the team’s lack of the ability to convert the opportunity.

“I want to say that the goals will come. I said after the last game that my biggest fear was not creating chances, but now that the chances are created. I think the goals will come. We need to be more efficient in scoring in the box, more efficient in scoring goals.”

In the pre-match press conference, Jankovic concluded that “goals are scored either by positional play, by organizing attacks to score, by counter-attacks, or by crosses from 45-degree corners and cutting at the edge of the box. We got the chance to score through various different ways of attack organization, which shows that our attack is still quite rich, which is worthy of recognition.”

He also made it clear that “we will definitely try to train as hard as possible to improve our efficiency in front of goal. I’m confident that we can improve our goal-scoring efficiency, now it’s just a matter of getting a foot in the door, we just need to get it done and the goals will come naturally.”


‘The whole team is very motivated and excited’

The interval between the two warm-up games is less than 72 hours, which will be a test for the physical ability of the Chinese players.

“Personnel rotation is for sure, because now for the Chinese league, now in the fourth week of the winter training period, while the league will also start in three weeks, we will make some personnel adjustments and rotations according to the physical condition of the players, the degree of progress of winter training.”

Jankovic revealed that there will be some rotation in the starting lineup, “I hope that through rotation, the team will be filled with fresh blood again and reach the same tactics and discipline. It is my habit to want to create a system where every player is important in this system, and everyone can expect some new faces in the starting lineup.”

In addition to the average form of individual players in the first match, the vast majority of starting and substitute players showed not bad form, especially the spirit of hustle that satisfied Jankovic.

“If we analyse the first game, we still have some regrets about the result, but the pace of the game, the hustle aspect still showed a promising side. As I said before, we matched the pace of the game and the intensity of the physical confrontation accordingly.”

“Tomorrow, hopefully we can go further and do better and further in terms of rate and intensity, while making some improvements to the problems identified in the first game.”

“The whole team is motivated and excited and ready to go for the next game.”

Jankovic still continued his usual rhetoric of “I am definitely sticking to myself, so the tactical level will not have too many adjustments according to the opponent. But will still play our own style of football.”

For the match result, he expects the team to do better than the first game, “For the current Chinese team, everyone always thinks about winning and winning the game, but to win you need to score goals first. For a long time in the past, the Chinese team has not scored goals.”

“The whole team feels very excited with the support and cheering from the fans, and we respect and appreciate the fans who support the Chinese team as always. So, for the sake of our fans, we will give our best for both home and away games.” Jankovic adds, as the Chinese fans far outnumbered the home fans in the first game and the situation will continue in the second.