West Ham, who have qualified for Europe for the first time since 2016/17, will kick off their Europa League campaign against Croatian outfit Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday.
Dinamo Zagreb faced West Ham’s London rivals Tottenham in the round of 16 of the Europa League last season and earned a shock 3-2 victory on aggregate over them.
While the Croatian club caught the eye of many with their win over Spurs, Ivanusec has insisted that the match against West Ham cannot be compared with their one against the north London giants.
Ivanusec pointed out that West Ham and Tottenham are not the same teams and explained that the Irons will pose a different challenge from Spurs on Thursday.
“The atmosphere is good, we can’t wait for the game, and I don’t think we should compare those two games too much because they are not the same teams“, Ivanusec told a press conference.
“We need to focus on the game that awaits us and I believe it will be a very different game than the one with Tottenham.“
Ivanusec will meet his Croatia team-mate Vlasic, who joined West Ham from CSKA Moscow on transfer deadline day, at the Stadion Maksimir on Thursday.
However, the 22-year-old revealed that he did not discuss the match with Vlasic when the two met at Croatia’s camp at the start of the month.
“He signed [for West Ham] just before the international break, so he was not familiar with the club either”, the Croat said.
“We didn’t talk too much about the match [while with Croatia].“
While Dinamo Zagreb managed to beat Tottenham over two legs, it remains to be seen if they can get the better of David Moyes’ West Ham on Thursday.