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Bilic drops Petri and Klasnic from Croatia squad as he reveals he will step down as manager after Euro 2012

Updated: Friday, 11 May 2012 08:50 | Comments

Bilic - pictured at the draw for the finals would be surprised if Ireland adopt a more attacking approach next month
Bilic - pictured at the draw for the finals would be surprised if Ireland adopt a more attacking approach next month

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Croatia manager Slaven Bilic has dropped veteran international strikers Mladen Petric and Ivan Klasnic from his Euro 2012 squad.

Klasnic, who underwent a kidney transplant in 2007, had a disappointing season at Bolton, while Petric, was also plagued by injuries and poor form at Hamburg. 

Croatia's first game will be against the Republic of Ireland on 10 June. Looking ahead, Bilic said: "Ireland are tough, well-organised and defend very well. They only surprise could be if Trapattoni made them more offensive. But that would only make us happier."

Croatia Euro 2012 preliminary squad: 
Goalkeepers: S Pletikosa, D Subasic, I Kelava; G Blazevic, 

Defenders: V Corluka, S Vrsaljko, D Lovren, J Simunic, I Strinic, G Schildenfeld, D Vida, J Buljat, D Pranjic 

Midfielders: D Srna, O Vukojevic, I Rakitic, T Dujmovic, L Modric, M Badelj, N Kranjcar, I Perisic, I Ilicevic 

Forwards: M Mandzukic, E Da Silva, N Jelavic, N Kalinic, I Olic

Bilic, who took over Croatia in 2006, confirmed he would step down after the finals.

It is expected that Bilic will pair in-form Everton striker Nikica Jelavic and Wolfsburg's Mario Mandzukic up front. Two other stalwarts, Bayern Munich's Ivica Olic and Brazilian-born Eduardo of Shakhtar, have not played regularly this season.

On his decision to retire, the manager said:"This will be my last championship in charge," he said.

"I've given my best and I thank you all, but the hardest job is still ahead of me.

"I wish my successor all the happiness in the world and hope to leave him some continuity."

Bilic was unwilling to discuss reports linking him with the managerial post at Lokomotiv Moscow.

"I'm sure you never comment on speculation or rumours so I will not comment on the story of Lokomotiv Moscow. When something happens, I will announce it."

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