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WellRed meets: Milan Djuric

Milan Djuric joined Bristol City just under a year ago from Italian club Cesena.

Since then he’s undergone two operations, has popped up with vital goals, chopped his hair off and welcomed his second child into the world.

WellRed sits down for a chat with the giant Bosnia & Herzegovina international forward.

You’ve played against some massive clubs during your time with Cesena in Italy. Tell me about those experiences and what it was like to score against Juventus.

It was an incredible experience to play against teams such as AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus. It was incredible to score against Juventus for Cesena. We drew 2-2, which was a fantastic result for us. It’s such a small club in comparison and it meant so much for all of us. We went back down at the end of the season, which was difficult but the experience in Serie A was incredible.

What do you remember about your goal?

It put us 1-0 up. I remember Andrea Pirlo lost the ball in midfield and that doesn’t happen very often! Gregoire Defrel, now of Roma, went forward and passed the ball to me. I was in front of Stephan Lichsteiner and Gianluigi Buffon and I hit the ball with my left foot and scored. It was an incredible emotion because I had played for so long in the lower leagues, so to score against Juventus in Serie A was amazing.

So what attracted you to Bristol City?

I was spotted when playing in Serie B after were relegated. I spoke with the gaffer a few times, who said how nice the city is and that it is suited for families. I asked friends and people on a Facebook page for Italians living in Bristol what it would be like to move and the response was great. It’s perfect for everything you need. I live centrally and it’s great for me. The only thing would be the weather, which is different compared to Italy but it is what it is! City watched me a few times with Cesena and the Bosnia national team and here I am now.

Djuric in action against Sheffield Wednesday

You were out for such a long time this through injury but you marked your return with a goal against Crystal Palace, followed by the winner in the subsequent game against Sunderland. What was were those few days like for you?

It was incredible. I think it was the best return I could have imagined. Scoring against Crystal Palace helped us reach the Carabao Cup quarter-finals against Manchester United, which is a piece of history of Bristol City. To score against Sunderland earned us the three points, so I was very happy with that. Now I need to continue this form, which is hard because I’m not 100 per cent fit. But I will have so much power when I am match ready. I will work so hard to be back.

Off the pitch, the year has brought you some happiness though. Congratulations on becoming a father for the second time! Your wife gave birth to a little boy a few weeks ago.

Thank you. I have a son (Cristian) and daughter (Alice) now who are all living in Italy. I’m here in Bristol, which is not easy but I am hoping that in the second half of December my family will come and stay with me over here. My wife had to have a caesarean and needs time to recover from the operation before she can fly.

You can read the full interview inside the next WellRed matchday programme, available on Saturday for Bristol City v Middlesbrough. Only £3.