Dragan Stojkovic has defended the form of Dusan Vlahovic and Filip Kostic at Juventus as the Serbian contingent struggle to replicate their performances with the national team at club level.
Vlahovic has scored just twice in his last eight competitive appearances for the Bianconeri while his compatriot is struggling to adapt to Italian football after eight seasons in the German Bundesliga.
In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Serbia national team coach revealed his confidence in his countrymen and showed he believes they will start producing their best football with La Vecchia Signora in no time.
“Everyone sees that the Vlahovic with Serbia is different to that with Juventus, but that is not my problem,” Stojkovic said.
“Everyone always expects a lot from Dusan and in the top clubs like the Bianconeri, when you do not win, the pressure is very high for the forwards. But Vlahovic is not up for discussion: he is a top player.
“Tomorrow he will score and then he will pay for everyone’s dinner after the match.
“As for Filip, he must be given time to settle into a very tactical and difficult league like Serie A. If Juventus‘ results improve, people’s perception of Kostic will also be different.”
Serbian contingent cannot paper over the cracks at Juventus
Juventus have had a dismal start to the 2022/23 campaign, currently sitting eighth in Serie A after nine rounds and they have lost three out of four Champions League games in Group H, which will likely result in an early exit from Europe’s elite competition.
Although Vlahovic and Kostic have not had impressive campaigns so far, the 3-0 victory against Bologna on Matchday 8 of Serie A showed that they can make positive contributions for the Bianconeri as both Serbians found the back of the net against the Rossoblu. However, they need to replicate this kind of performance on a weekly basis.
It must be said that there are flaws all over the pitch at Juventus. Coach Massimiliano Allegri is struggling to find the right formation and he constantly changes the playing personnel from game to game. Even if the Bianconeri take a step forward, they follow it up with two steps back.
As Stojkovic pointed out, it is not his fault that Vlahovic and Kostic perform better for Serbia than for Juventus, but Allegri needs to find the right chemistry at Juve for the Serbian duo, and the rest of the squad for that matter, to play better.
Juventus play Torino in the Derby della Mole on Saturday evening on Matchday 10 of Serie A.