Maric's confidence not lost in translation
Chris Lakey Goran Maric called on the service of one of Norwich City's youngsters to help him get through his first press conference yesterday - but early indications suggest that the Serb is very much his own man.
Goran Maric called on the service of one of Norwich City's youngsters to help him get through his first press conference yesterday - but early indications suggest that the Serb is very much his own man.
A few English lessons and the questionable help of his new City team-mates should help him master the language - the rest is already there.
Maric has scored twice in pre-season and had plenty of run-ins with beefy Scottish defenders and officious referees - and if that's what you get with the 25-year-old, then Bryan Gunn isn't complaining.
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“I don't think it's a bad thing, if he can use that to his advantage,” said the City manager.
“I went on to the pitch after the game against St Johnstone and asked Goran how many cards he would get in a season and he said, 'no red cards - many yellows cards, but no red cards'.
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“Okay, that's what is written on the tin, that's what you get with Goran, but also what we see is a very skilful player.
“He's mainly left-footed, good in the air - he had a goal disallowed against St Johnstone as well, at the end of a great move and his finish against St Johnstone as well was put away skilfully.
“He works the goalkeepers, he hits the target, that's his strength.”
There is also a confidence that all strikers need, and which hasn't taken long to come forward.
“He has already said to Ian Butterworth on free-kicks he just wants one free-kick from his left-foot, and then after that, if he doesn't score, we give it to someone else,” said Gunn.
“He's very confident in his ability and that is obviously something that as a striker, as an individual, that is another strength.
“I am sure that Goran understands a lot more English than he can speak at the moment, but once we get some English lessons and the more he is around us the understanding will be there and he will be another positive signing for the football club.”
The physical side came to the fore in Scotland, with Maric refusing to give up any ball, and clattering into a few home defenders into the bargain.
“That's how English football is, with defenders battling, and that is how I am as well,” he said, through interpreter Dario Dumic.
With League One set to be a little more physically demanding than the Championship, Gunn was happy to be sitting between Maric and defender Jens Berthel Askou, who had also undergone his audition in Scotland, at yesterday's media conference
“Goran had a few elbows in Scotland and the big man here can cope with that no problem,” he said. “That was a good benchmark to see the guys in and they could come over and train and take part in training sessions, but it is actually seeing them in matches. Although they were pre-season friendlies they were fairly competitive, physical games and both lads showed that they could cope with that and I think we all know that in League One we will have to match that physicality as well.
“I have no worries about these two in terms of that, but also they are good football players as well and we will hopefully utilise their skills and benefit as a group.
“We saw against Palace the guys matched them physically, but I feel our general outfield play was better and it presented us with more opportunities and we hope that will be the case for the whole season, that we have to win a physical battle and when we get the ball down and move it around the pitch we have got players who are capable of doing that and hopefully match winners.”