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Monday, 20 May, 2002, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Kovac: Luck is all we need
Croatia defender Robert Kovac
Kovac believes Croatia can emulate feat of 1998
Croatia defender Robert Kovac is backing his side to do well in the World Cup despite conceding the current squad lack the individual talent of the team that came third in France 98.

"That (1998) generation had (AC Milan midfielder) Zvonimir Boban, the head, creator and mastermind of the team," Kovac told the Vecernji List newspaper.

"Now we no longer have such a player but we are a whole that still know how to do the job.

"I am therefore convinced we are not weaker than those who got the bronze."

Croatia face Italy, Mexico and Ecuador in the group stages of the tournament which starts on 31 May.

"All we need is a little luck to repeat the 1998 feat," Kovac added.

Kovac is likely to pair up with Inter Milan's Dario Simic at the back, after central defender Igor Tudor of Juventus dropped out at the last minute to undergo ankle surgery.

"I actually prefer that system, the four-man backline, with two full-backs and two wingers, that way the wingers can switch into the attack more quickly," said the 27-year old.

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GROUP G
  P GD PTS
MEXICO 3 +2 7
ITALY 3 +1 4
CROATIA 3 -1 3
ECUADOR 3 -2 3

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