Borac coach resigns in attempt to ‘shock’ team in Europa Conference League return to Linfield


Borac Banja Luka manager Marko Maksimović has resigned in an attempt to “shock” the team in a spectacular Europa League comeback against Linfield.

The Blues won the first leg of the second qualifying round last week 4-0 at Windsor Park and will advance to the second leg tomorrow night as big favorites to progress.

However, they will now face a team reeling from the sudden departure of a boss who had guided Borac to his first Bosnian Premier League title in ten years.

“The reason is his desire to shake up the squad with this shock ahead of tomorrow’s rematch against (Linfield),” a statement read on the club’s website.

The announcement goes on to explain that the decision is not as instinctive as it might sound, having involved discussions with the board following their last Champions League loss to CFR Cluj earlier this month and the more “intensely” since the weekend.

Domestically, Borac’s title defense did not start as expected with draws in their opening two games on either side of last week’s defeat in Belfast and now the boss says he ‘it is easier to change your own position than “50” other people.

He stressed that he will cheer on the team, which he first led between 2015 and 2017 before returning last year, when they take the pitch tomorrow night.

“I am not leaving because of failure, because we have had serious success,” he said. “Now everyone has to do what they have to do. The crowd, and everyone, I’m in the stands tomorrow (for the game against Linfield) for sure and I’m going to applaud because I love this club It is now a professional decision and I am calm.

Assistant Damir Memišević having also left the club, the squad will be headed tomorrow by coaches Cedomir Ćulum and Zoran Dragišić.

“We have spoken intensely, especially in the last three days,” said club vice-president Bogoljub Zeljković. “We noticed some things and Mark’s decision is that it’s easier for him to leave than to change 30-40 people. I wish him well in his career further, and we are already starting the search for a new professional chief of staff.

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