Novakovic pleased with progress
Slovenia's Milivoje Novakovic feels he is approaching peak fitness after his brace against New Zealand.
Last Updated: 05/06/10 8:41pm
Milivoje Novakovic feels he is approaching peak fitness after scoring twice in Slovenia's 3-1 friendly win over New Zealand.
Cologne striker Novakovic has recently undergone treatment on an abdominal injury and has been battling to reach prime condition for the World Cup.
He was happy to grab a brace against New Zealand and has set his sights on progressing out of Group C, which also contains England, Algeria and the United
"First of all I have to thank the medical team," said Novakovic. "Every day we have dealt with therapies, we really worked day and night. Thank God I'm ready for the World Cup.
"It is much better, but not yet perfect. But there is no excuse.
"In physical terms I may still be at reasonable levels, but these two goals and the game give us motivation for further work.
"We are once again proving that we are a collective unit. It is true that without such support, the team would not play so well. It is important that we are all healthy and unscathed after this game.
"It is important that the team won. It's good for confidence. We head to South Africa proudly. Our goal is the second round, and we will try to achieve that."
Slovenia coach Matjaz Kek was also pleased with the win over New Zealand and eased injury concerns over Zlatan Ljubijankic.
Kek said: "It was a good performance and I was especially pleased for Milivoje Novakovic to score two excellent goals from free-kicks, but it was only a friendly and World Cup games are going to be a different story.
"I am also happy that the injury to Zlatan Ljubijankic (ankle) is not a serious one and he will be fit for the opening game against the Algerians.
"There is room for progress in several departments, especially when we don't have the upper hand, but overall I am satisfied with our build-up for the World Cup."