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Thursday, 13 June, 2002, 14:05 GMT 15:05 UK
Slovenia ask Katanec to reconsider
A dejected Zeljko Milinovic watches Paraguay celebrate
A dejected Zeljko Milinovic watches Paraguay celebrate

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Slovenian FA President Rudi Zavrl is going to try to persuade team coach Srecko Katanec to rethink his decision to resign.

"I'll try to do that. If Srecko agrees, we won't need to look for a new manager," Zavrl said.

Open Quote
I'm not too disappointed although we lost all three games - I don't regret anything
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Srecko Katanec

"If I don't succeed, we need to find a new man soon, since we play our first friendly match on 21 August against Italy."

Katanec, though seems ready to go after a World Cup campaign that ended with three defeats and star player Zlatko Zahovic sent home early.

"I'm not too disappointed although we lost all three games," Katanec said.

"Our team did the best it could, but it wasn't in as good a shape as it was for Euro 2000. There were several reasons for that."

Katanec accused the Slovenian press of having created excessive public expectations ahead of the tournament.

"I'm happy that the players weren't driven mad because of all that," he added.

The coach expressed great pride in the team's achievements during his time in charge.

"I don't regret anything that I've done," Katanec said. "We've achieved a great thing by qualifying for the World Cup.

"It was a great promotion for our country."

Open Quote
The match against Paraguay was my last for the national team - it's time for younger player to take over
Close Quote
Ales Ceh

The Slovenian manager, who refused to discuss his future plans, said he would comment further at a special press conference back in Ljubljana next week.

Meanwhile team captain Ales Ceh confirmed his retirement from international football.

"The match against Paraguay was my last for the national team. I guess it's time for younger player to take over," Ceh, who plays in Austria for GAK Graz, said.

Ceh is the most-capped Slovenian player in history, with a total of 74 appearances. He has been captain for two years.

He has played throughout the ten years the national team has existed and scored one goal in that time.


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GROUP B
  P GD PTS
SPAIN 3 +5 9
PARAGUAY 3 0 4
SOUTH AFRICA 3 0 4
SLOVENIA 3 -5 0

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