Nenad Bjelica: I prefer the glass “half full” as Union Berlin fight to avoid Bundesliga relegation

Union Berlin succumbed to a damaging 4-3 defeat at home to Bochum yesterday and find themselves just one point above Mainz 05 in the Bundesliga relegation zone.

With just two games left of the season, Union Berlin find themselves in a precious position.

However, coming back from 3-0 at half-time yesterday gives Union hope for survival.

In the post-match press conference, Head Coach, Nenad Bjelica was in a combative mood.

There is hope!

In response to questions about Union’s six-game winless run, Bjelica said there are reasons for confidence.

“Bochum really dominated the first half. We lacked confidence, we were nervous, but we were better in the second half.

We didn’t start playing until 3-0 down, we had lost focus but we found it.

There were late chances for Brenden (Aaronson) and Juranovic, we could have got something.

[But] Our situation was much more hopeless than when I arrived. I prefer to see the glass half full, not half empty.

I believe that we can cope with anyone. I am fully convinced that we will be able to stay in the Bundesliga together.”

Bjelica’s future

After reports of Bjelica’s departure at the end of the season emerged midweek, Union Berlin president, Dirk Zingler gave Bjelica his “full support” before the game.

Zingler said:

“We are not affected by what is written or said outside the club. The only thing that counts is what we say to each other. And we are relatively clear about that. We know what is right.”

Bjelica still responded to the rumours, confirming that his future is not certain yet and there is no contract to speak of.

Fewer than 24 hours later, Bjelica was dismissed from his role with immediate effect.

Football moves on quickly these days.


However, the Croatia Head Coach was keen to stress the progress his side have made since his arrival:

“The games under my direction and the second half give me courage. We have achieved more than before.”

Meanwhile, Union Berlin captain Rani Khedira emphasizes that he and his team “will give it all in the remaining two games and try everything possible to stay in this league.”

“We have to be prepared for anything,” said the midfielder.

Union Berlin travel to Cologne, and then welcome Freiburg on the final day of the season. 

If they can’t turn their form around, they may have to prepare for a relegation play-off to stay in the Bundesliga.

GGFN | Oscar O’Mara


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