Zlatko Dalic expects more from Croatia against Albania

Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalic has vowed to take nothing for granted as his side bid to belatedly kick-start their Euro 2024 campaign against Albania in Hamburg.

An opening 3-0 defeat to Spain in Group B has raised the stakes for Dalic’s men with a final group game against favourites Italy still to come.

But Albania’s gutsy display against the Italians – in which they scored after just 23 seconds before falling to gutsy 2-1 defeat – has made it clear to Dalic that his side face another difficult test.

Head shot of Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalic
Zlatko Dalic has urged his side not to panic against Albania (Sunday Alamba/AP)

Dalic told a press conference: “Albania may not be of the same quality as Spain but they deserve a lot of respect.

“They are motivated and organised, so we need to be patient and cautious. We know our goal is to win and we will be more offensive. We want to improve. Even against Spain, we had possession and created more chances, but now we need to be even better.”

Croatia’s difficult start has been exacerbated by an injury to midfielder Nikola Vlasic which has ruled him out for the rest of the tournament.

Euro 2024 Package
Albania coach Sylvinho will take the positives out of his side’s opening loss to Italy (Mark Kerton/PA)

Meanwhile Albania coach Sylvinho is eager to accentuate the positives of his side’s opening loss to the Italians, and not read too much into the Croatians’ opening defeat.

Sylvinho, who expects to be able to pick from a full squad, said: “Except for the first 15 minutes against Italy, we did really well. We are talking about Italy, one of the best teams in the competition.

“Croatia gave a good performance (against Spain), even in losing 3-0. If you see the stats from this match without seeing the result, you wouldn’t believe Croatia lost. But at this level of football, anything can happen.”

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