The Hull hit-man tells Andy Murray about Moyes, Mandzukic and making the trip to Brazil
You quickly established a good partnership with Shane Long at Hull. Why do you think you work well together?
Shane is a good striker and we're different types of players. He's not the biggest but he’s quick and has a good header, whereas I’m obviously a little slower than him and I like to keep the ball and try win it in the air. When you play with two strikers, it's always good to have one who is quick and the other who is big and can jump.
Do you prefer playing with a partner?
Definitely. If you play alone up front, it's difficult if the midfielders aren't close to you. With two, you always have your partner with you and you can keep the ball, play one-twos and there’s always someone around to help you.
What do you make of Hull and Steve Bruce?
As I said when I signed, Steve is a great guy and as soon as he called me, we talked about his philosophy and about the club. I hadn’t played much at Everton in the last six months so I just had to move – it was time to move on with my career. I had to change something and my first impressions are good. It’s a new club in the Premier League but it’s a good club.
Ketika Anda bermain dengan dua penyerang, akan selalu bagus memiliki seorang pemain yang cepat dan yang lainnya besar dan mampu melompat.
How is he different from David Moyes?
Every manager is different. The first six months at Everton were the best of my career so I'll never forget those memories, but I just had to start scoring goals again.
Have you heard of Hull before you came to England?
Of course, I knew of them from their Championship days... if I’m honest, I never thought one day I would sign for Hull City but that’s football – you never know what’s going to happen.
How do you find the city?
It’s decent. I haven’t gone out too much after training because I like to relax at home with my family in front of the television – but that’s just me!
What represents a good season in the Premier League for Hull?
The first target is to stay in the Premier League. I think we have a good chance to get some points; if we do that then we can make our situation comfortable enough.
- Lahir 27 Agustus 1985, Caplijna, Yugoslavia
- Tinggi 1,87meter
- Klub dan gol:
- 2002-07 Hajduk Split 35 (8)
- 2007-08 Zulte Waregem 23 (3)
- 2008-10 Rapid Vienna 113 (40)
- 2010-12 Rangers 56 (37)
- 2012-14 Everton 69 (21)
- 2014- Hull 11 (4)
- 2009- Croatia 31 (5)
The bottom half of the table is very tight, does that add pressure?
There’s always pressure but if you want to play Premiership football then you have to carry on and relieve that pressure.
How did David Moyes get the best out of you? Did you enjoy playing for him?
I’ve enjoyed playing for every manager but to be honest I don’t know, it was just a great time. I scored in my first game and my confidence was so high, I felt untouchable until the end of the season.
Is it true that he leaves attacking training to other coaches and he focuses more on the defensive side?
He wasn't really an attacking coach but he spent 24 hours a day thinking about football and every training session he was on the pitch all day – he helped us strikers, as well as everyone.
Are you confident of making Croatia’s World Cup squad?
By moving to Hull I think I showed the national manager that I wanted to play so I’m hoping to make it.
How exciting is it to be in the same group as the hosts Brazil?
It’s a dream come true to be honest, to be playing in the opening game against Brazil, It’s amazing and if we can take some points there then we will be on top of the world.
What’s your first World Cup memory?
Well, 1998 was a golden year for me and Croatian football, Davor Suker was the idol of every child, but the first World Cup that I can remember is the final in the USA between Italy and Brazil where Roberto Baggio missed the penalty.
Enam bulan pertama di Everton merupakan bagian terbaik dalam karier saya, maka saya tidak akan melupakan kenangan itu. Namun, saya hanya harus memulai mencetak gol lagi.
Do you like taking penalties?
Ever taken one like Baggio's?
What would be a good tournament for Croatia?
It’s difficult to say, but we have to be at least second in the group so we qualify and then who knows.
How’s your understanding with Mario Mandzukic? Do you enjoy playing with him?
Well, the manager Niko Kovac likes to play with one striker but with the previous manager [Igor Stimac] we played with two, so it was good to play with him. We are good friends and room-mates. It’s easy to play with him, because he runs a lot!