World Cup: Croatia delighted to welcome Mario Mandzukic back
Last Updated: 18/06/14 12:14pm
Danijel Pranjic says the return of Mario Mandzukic from suspension will hand Croatia a timely boost against Cameroon.
Having suffered an opening night defeat to Brazil, Croatia head into their second Group A fixture knowing they have no margin for error.
Defeat in Manaus would consign them to a group stage exit and end their World Cup adventure.
Goalscorers and players prepared to give their all for the collective cause are therefore the order of the day, and Mandzukic falls into both categories.
Pranjic considers the Bayern Munich striker – who is looking to put himself in the shop window this summer – to be something of a talisman and is backing him to lead the charge against Cameroon.
The Panathinaikos midfielder said: “He’s prepared to go out and die for the cause. He definitely makes us stronger.
“Nikica Jelavic did really well against Brazil, but Mario is Mario.
“We need him. We’re a totally different team without him.”
Pranjic added on a potentially pivotal encounter with Cameroon: “It’s all or nothing for both teams.
“The losers will pack their bags and go home.
“We have to be ready for everything and play like it was our last match.”