New Serbia coach Petrovic to recall Stojkovic

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BELGRADE - Vladimir Petrovic is planning to bring Partizan Belgrade goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic back into Serbia's squad after replacing Radomir Antic as coach.

Stojkovic, who was dropped after the World Cup in June, joined Partizan from Sporting Lisbon on a one-year loan in the close season and played well in Wednesday's 1-0 defeat at Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.

"I will recall Stojkovic because he is in good form and add one or two full-backs to make the back four more competitive but there will be no wholesale changes," Petrovic told a news conference on Friday.

"Qualifying for the Euro 2012 finals in Poland and Ukraine is not imperative but I have a winner's mentality and it is my ambition because we still have a good chance."

The 55-year-old Petrovic, who made 34 appearances for the former Yugoslavia and steered Serbia and Montenegro to the final of the 2004 European under-21 championship in Germany, played for English club Arsenal in the 1982/83 season.

"Restoring a good atmosphere within the team and bringing the best out of the current crop, who have a wealth of talent and experience, is the immediate task," said the new coach.

"Antic is a close friend of mine and if we meet before our next qualifier I will not hesitate to ask him for advice which could be helpful to make a winning start."

Serbia were knocked out in the first round of the World Cup in South Africa and Antic was sacked on Wednesday after falling out with Football Association president Tomislav Karadzic.

Antic was unavailable for the opening Euro 2012 Group C matches with Faroe Islands and Slovenia after FIFA imposed a four-game touchline ban on him for insulting the referee during the 2-1 World Cup defeat by Australia.

Serbia, who have four points from two matches, are at home to Estonia on October 8 and visit group leaders Italy four days later.

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