BELGRADE (Reuters) - Serbian league leaders Vojvodina Novi Sad have sacked their coach Zlatomir Zagorcic because the team eked out three successive 1-0 wins with drab performances, club officials said on Thursday.
Vojvodina - who won two league titles in the former Yugoslavia - have 10 points from four games, one more than champions Partizan who are chasing a record sixth successive league title.
They appointed former striker Nebojsa Vignjevic in place of Zagorcic.
“We have analysed our performances during the international break and felt that we should have played better football against the three lesser rivals we beat by the skin of our teeth,” club president Miodrag Pantelic told a news conference.
“We didn’t play well and we assessed that we needed a new coach for the upcoming challenges again stronger opposition. We have a good squad capable of producing more entertaining football and that’s our first priority because we know that we can’t ask Vignjevic to win trophies at all costs.”
Vojvodina have been overshadowed by Belgrade’s big two Red Star and Partizan, who have won 22 of 23 league titles between them since Vojvodina last became champions in 1989.
Vignjevic, a journeyman who played for the likes of Edmonton Drillers, Toronto Lynx and Cypriot side Enosis Neon Paralimni since he left Rad Belgrade in 1995, said he would ask the players to adopt a new style.
“I want them to think beyond winning by the odd goal because we can do better than that,” he said.
“Staying in the top three should be a requirement and perhaps the time has come for Vojvodina to make a step forward and mount a sustained challenge for the league title.”
The first test of Vignjevic’s credentials will be on Sunday when Vojvodina are at home to third-placed Jagodina, who are also just one point off the pace and behind Partizan on goal difference.
Editing by Mark Meadows