Koren has nothing to prove

  • By: Carl Markham, Press Association Sport, Polokwane
  • Last Updated: June 16 2010, 15:46 BST

Slovenia captain Robert Koren insists he does not see the World Cup as a chance to prove a point to West Brom manager Roberto Di Matteo.

Robert Koren - not thinking about West Brom.

The 29-year-old was released by the Baggies after their promotion-winning season as Di Matteo said the financial resources needed to keep him could be used better elsewhere.

Koren is currently without a club, although he has been linked with Serie A side Chievo, but said he was concentrating on doing the best for his country and not using the tournament in South Africa to showcase his qualities to potential employers.

"I will concentrate on my games at the World Cup, do my best for the team and our country and we will see what happens after that," he said.

"I don't think about West Brom now or any other clubs.

"I am thinking about Slovenia getting through the group stage and afterwards we will talk about my future."

Slovenia, the smallest nation in the competition with a population of two million, were written off as also-rans in Group C where England and the United States were expected to sail through.

However, their opening victory over Algeria, combined with a 1-1 draw in the other game, means they sit top of the group heading into Friday's clash with the USA and have a real chance of qualifying for the knockout stages.

Koren insisted they did not mind being portrayed as underdogs.

"It is not a problem in terms of motivation," he added.

"When we came to the World Cup we said the next step we wanted to do was get through the group stage.

"We will go game by game and we are not thinking about anything else, we are just thinking about ourselves."

Friday's encounter is an archetypal David versus Goliath affair with America 150 times larger in terms of population.

That is not a concern for midfielder Dalibor Stevanovic.

"The important thing is the heart. Not how big you are as a country," he said.

"After our first win against Algeria, we are very motivated for the next game. Everything is in our hands."