Marjan Jugovic got off the mark in his Bengaluru FC career on Sunday, and in what style, as he headed in the late winner against Aizawl FC.
Speaking to Goal right after the thrilling contest, the big Serbian couldn't contain his happiness at scoring the matchwinning goal.
“It feels really amazing, to be honest. It is my first goal for Bengaluru, so that feels great. I’m very proud that I was able to get the three points for my team and will look to carry on from here in the coming games and in the AFC Cup,” he exclaimed.
He has had a not-so-perfect start to his Bengaluru career, starting games from the bench mostly. On Sunday as well, he had a jittery beginning since coming on, picking up a booking minutes after coming on.
“I was feeling a little nervous. Most of my career, I have been an automatic in the starting eleven, but the coach decided to start me on the bench so I wanted to prove to him that I can start and that added some pressure on me. But the most important thing is the team and I’m happy we won today,” he felt.
The 33-year-old made it clear where the defending I-League champions' focus now lies.
“We know that the league championship is out of our reach, but we will still give our best. But our main focus is on the AFC Cup and the Federation Cup. We’ll have to perform well there,” said the Krusevac-born.
A well-travelled footballer, Jugovic is perfectly positioned to compare the grass of Indian football and reveal whether it is greener here or on the other sides.
“To be honest, it has been different as compared to other countries I have played in. I have travelled a lot and played for various clubs, but there it was very stressful. Here it is okay, I feel much better. So I am very happy and thankful to the club for this opportunity.
“Yes, for most of the things (technical ability, infrastructure, etc),” he added, when pressed for what exactly was different.
He was asked for one gripe he had with the footballing scenario in the country and his answer was unsurprising, as he has reiterating what many people have stated over the past year.
“The refereeing needs to improve. Every game, they are not protecting the players, they are not helping us build play and play beautiful football that the fans will enjoy. If I have one suggestion to give to Indian football, it would be to improve the standards of refereeing.
"But it is great for Indian football to be improving leaps and bounds year over year,” he signed-off, with a beaming smile of winning the game on his face!