Croatia boss Slaven Bilic insists his side have the talent to cope without star man Luka Modric in their FIFA World Cup™ qualifying double header, though he admits they will miss the Tottenham midfielder.
Bilic's side currently sit seven points adrift of Group 6 leaders England with tomorrow's clash against Belarus being followed by a trip to Wembley next Wednesday. Modric suffered a broken leg at home to Birmingham last weekend and will miss both qualifiers, leaving a large hole in Bilic's squad.
Modric is at least one of our top players. He is making a difference every week for Tottenham, so we are missing him.
And the former West Ham defender knows his side will feel the loss. Bilic told the Daily Telegraph: "Modric is at least one of our top players. He is making a difference every week for Tottenham, so we are missing him. It will be difficult to compensate, because we do not have an equivalent player to him. But we are going to try.
"Modric is a top, top player, but he is not the only player in our team that has such skilful characteristics. We have Niko Kranjcar, we have Ivan Rakitic - so every one of us has to do something more to make up for the loss of Modric.
"In the last three years - this is my fourth now - I know that we have a group of players who can cope with anybody. We can compete at any level, we have our chances to beat anybody."
In tomorrow's other Group 6 clash, Ukraine, three points behind Croatia in third having played one fewer game, take on Andorra in Kiev.