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Croat Jozic mulls new names for Slovenia friendly

© Reuters 2002

ZAGREB, March 12 (Reuters) - Croatia coach Mirko Jozic plans to call up several new players for a friendly against fellow World Cup finalists Slovenia after a dismal performance in a warm-up match for the tournament last month.

Croatia will play Slovenia on March 27 after a disappointing 0-0 draw against Bulgaria in Rijeka.

"Although everything is revolving around the 25 known names, some of those who played in Rijeka will not be here, and some new players will be called up," Jozic told Vjesnik daily on Tuesday.

Jozic did not elaborate and said he would name the squad next week.

The coach said his aim in the remaining three friendlies - including games against Kuwait in April and Hungary in May - was to choose a firm outline for his World Cup squad.

"Our primary goal should not be to post good results but to round off the squad list and look for alternative solutions on the pitch. That's why I want to test some other players against Slovenia," he said.

Croatia, who took third place at the 1998 World Cup in France, have been grouped with Italy, Mexico and Ecuador at the finals in Korea and Japan this year.

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