18/04/2024

Ivan Vujica training ahead of Macarthur's clash with the Newcastle Jets. (Image: Macarthur FC/Twitter)

Coming off the back of a disappointing 4-0 loss at the hands of the Western Sydney Wanderers, Macarthur FC has the opportunity to turn things around at home as the Newcastle Jets make the trip to Campbelltown on Sunday afternoon.

Speaking about the game against the Wanderers, Macarthur defender Ivan Vujica did not hide how the side felt after such a heavy defeat during the pre-match press conference.

“Obviously it was a bit of a disappointment that result, (it’s) safe to say. But the boys have used that disappointment to try and propel us forward to train even harder to grind the result this week, that’s for sure.”

For Vujica, who comes up against the club that gave him his professional debut in the 2016/17 season, it is a time in his career he looks back on fondly, but it does not change the fact that the goal is to win.

“I’ve only got love for them to be honest, for the ex-staff there, the ex-players, the ex-fans, so I can only say the best about them. But I definitely want the win.”

One key aspect that will help with that is the coach of Macarthur Dwight Yorke.

Ivan Vujica training at a wet Campbelltown Stadium before the game against the Newcastle Jets. (Photo Credit: Macarthur FC/Twitter)

With Yorke having taken over the coaching job at Macarthur, he brings that elite-level playing experience that just can not be replicated.

“He’s able to give you little tips from his playing career that he’s come across and the way he sees the game is slightly different considering he’s really walked those shoes of a top elite level (player),” Vujica said.

“So I’m always picking his brain about some little things, how it was once upon a time for him at Manchester and whatnot, and the defenders that he used to verse back in his day, seeing what they were like.

“I just spoke to him before. He said ‘You wouldn’t have a chance against me back in my day.’”

Despite this being Yorke’s first coaching job, that experience has helped him connect with the players and helped him build such a strong squad that struggled quite a bit last season under Ante Milicic.

“I can only praise him so much. Because he’s been a player, he understands what it’s like to be a player. It’s very easy to speak to him, extremely approachable,” Vujica said.

“For me, when Dwight steps in the room I’m always getting a laugh out of him. Sometimes we don’t even say a word, we just start smiling because I know he’s about to say something funny.

“Not every coach is like that, and that’s ok. Everyone has their different approaches, but with Dwight, we’ve definitely got that easy approach with him but when he puts his foot down as well, we know it’s time to work.”

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When Yorke was asked about what Vujica had to say, he did not shy away from the comments.

“I’ve been very fortunate as a player to play at the highest level, to deal with different managers in different ways,” Yorke said.

“I’ve been in circumstances as a player (and) obviously it’s different now being a manager, so I can relate to players.

“I’ve always said that I would be transparent with my players, very open and honest with them. Trying to improve them, trying to understand them as well as they understand me as well.

“I think that’s what the good thing is about the group I’ve inherit(ed) here at the club. Everyone here is prepared to work hard and try to learn as we progress each time.

“We’re only five and a half months in, so it’s relatively new. We’re still learning things, things are still happening. The important thing is that we learn and move on, not learn and stand still and I think that’s what I’ve tried to integrate with the players.

“I love my players. I love the relationship I have. There is no grey areas with them. We’re very open and honest with each other and I like that.”

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Looking ahead to the game against Newcastle, for the home side it is going to be less about how the visitors set up, and more about what they can do internally in front of their home fans.

This is even though they only just recently played a behind-closed-doors friendly against each other prior to the resumption of play after the World Cup break.

“We don’t read too much into that, the circumstances change as you know. They are going through a little bit of a period themself, like us in some ways but we are a little bit more consistent. We won’t read too much into that,” Yorke said

“When it comes to game day, the whole situation changes. We need to be on our game. We need to bounce back. We have a good opportunity to be at home in front of our home fans.

“It’s going to be a difficult game one way or the other and we need to be at our best if we are to overcome the Jets.”

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