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Niko Kovac keen to stay Croatia boss

RECIFE, Brazil -- Niko Kovac expects to remain as Croatia's coach, even though his side were unable to advance out of the group stage of the World Cup.

A controversial loss against Brazil on the opening night of the tournament was followed by a convincing 4-0 win against Cameroon, but a 3-1 defeat to Mexico on Monday saw Kovac's side eliminated.

But he remains confident he is the man to lead his country into the 2016 European Championships in France.

"Why not? We qualified for the World Cup and that was a success for us," Kovac told a post-match news conference on Monday. "I have a contract ... and it will continue. I do not see any reason why it shouldn't. I said before, this was a tough group.

"That's life. I said this group was very tough. Mexico and Brazil were the favorites. We couldn't spring a surprise."

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Match 34
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With the likes of Bayern Munich forward Mario Mandzukic, Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric and Barcelona new boy Ivan Rakitic among their number, Croatia were confident of their chances of success.

Their early exit will give them time to assess where things went wrong, and Kovac plans to come back stronger for the experience.

"We have a quality team. We have to work hard. We have to analyse what we lacked and we are going to improve those things, be it mentally, psychologically, physically, tactically, technically," Kovac said.

"We will analyse our performances and we will draw conclusions. I think we've made good progress over the last six months, but this process of development should continue.

"This is young generation. We have several young players from the under-21s and Croatia has a pool of players it can rely upon for a time to come.

"Those lads who play for top clubs are still young and this generation can be together for maybe another five or six years."

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