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Slovenia captain's promise

Koren: We'll prove doubters wrong

March 24, 2010
By Mark Lomas

Slovenia captain Robert Koren has told ESPNsoccernet he is confident that Slovenia will prove they deserve their place on the world stage at this summer's World Cup finals.

Robert koren
GettyImagesRobert Koren will be Slovenia's creator-in-chief in South Africa

Many in the football world are sceptical about Slovenia's ability to mix it with the big boys at the finals, but Koren, who has spent the last three years in England playing for West Brom, insists his team are ready to prove the doubters wrong.

"There are not many people who believed we could go to the world so it is a big, big achievement for us as such a small country," Koren told Soccernet.

"It's the second time for us and it will be very special; we will do everything to show people that we are good enough. In the play-offs we beat Russia and we have proved we have a quality in our squad, we are looking forward to the finals.

Slovenia will have to contest with Algeria USA and England in Group C this summer, with Fabio Capello's side heavy favourites to emerge as group winners.

But Koren believes that while onlookers are predicting a stroll in the park for England, the Slovenian camp are confident that it won't be so easy for the Three Lions.

"I have been in England for three years now so I have a lot of experience," Koren said. "We also played a friendly game against England so we already know a bit about them and we will prepare ourselves well for this game.

"Everyone is expecting England will beat us easily but we will give them a really good match and hope to get a good result."

And while all the focus from England is on Wayne Rooney as Capello's matchwinner, Koren insists Slovenia will not be giving the striker any special attention.

"England have so many good players in their squad so it's difficult to say you will be focused on one player. At the moment it looks like Rooney is in very good form but we will wait and see closer to the time.

"Our manager will give us all the information we need but we will not be focused on one player, we will be concentrated for 90 minutes like a team.

"We will stay compact defensively and offensively we will look to pass the ball around and try to create chances. We believe in our squad, that we have enough quality and are determined to show that we are a good team."