I won't change my philosophy at Persepolis, insists Branko Ivankovic

September 29, 2018

TEHRAN – Persepolis head coach Branko Ivankovic said he will not change his philosophy despite ‘shortage of players’.

Persepolis will play Qatari giants Al Sadd in the first leg of the AFC Champions League semifinals on Tuesday.

“We are excited for the match against Al Sadd in the semifinals. Persepolis are the only team to reach semis for the second successive year. It shows we are progressing well,” Ivankovic told reporters on the margins of the training.

“Persepolis face so many problems for the match against Al Sadd. Kamal Kamyabinia and Mohammad Ansari are suspended for this match and Hossein Mahini has sustained a knee injury in the match against Esteghlal. Despite all that, we are very happy to be in this stage and I hope to book a place in the final match,” the Croat added.

“Regarding shortage of players we face, a young player will certainly be in starting XI in the first leg and I completely trust him,” Ivankovic went on to say.

Persepolis defeated Qatar’s Al Duhail 3-2 on aggregate thanks to a 3-1 win in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium. Al Sadd coach Jesualdo Ferreira has said they want to beat Persepolis in Doha with more than one goal.

“We will not change our philosophy in the match against Al Sadd. We will play attacking football and I have trust in my players. We are optimistic about this match,” he added.

“Persepolis fans like to win the AFC Champions League and we will do our best to do that,” Ivankovic concluded.

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