THC eye knockout spot as group phase enters second half
After a two-week break, the EHF European League Women 2023/24 returns to action with round 4 as the group phase gets past its halfway mark. The teams that met in round 3 will lock horns again this weekend, and some of them could already secure their progression to the quarter-finals – most notably Thüringer HC, the only side with a perfect record after three rounds.
I expect my team to have the same mentality and fighting spirit as two weeks ago. We will see what will be enough in Denmark, because Nykøbing, although they don't have a point yet, are still a very good team, and this match will be their last chance to finish in the first two places in the group.
I’m really looking forward to the match against Chambray Touraine on Saturday evening. We won every match in the EHF European League this season and we want to continue winning in the group phase, especially at home in front of our incredible fans. The match in Chambray was not easy, we need to get better into the match than we did there. I expect a really tough and close match, hopefully with the better ending for our team.
I’m looking forward to play home against Lokomotiva Zagreb. It has been a while since we played European League at home so I’m really excited. We won the first game away, which doesn’t mean we will win easily at home. Zagreb are playing good handball and we have to make some things better and improve our performance if we want to win. With fighting spirit and team work we can do great things together.
In the first match, what surprised me the most was how effectively our opponents played when they were tired. The ability to make decisions when very tired was much better than in our team. This is definitely a big advantage of this team. We need to improve certain elements, improve our defence, and be more effective in making late-game decisions.
In Lublin, that will be a very, very difficult game and also a different game to the first leg. I don't think Lublin expected to lose at our place and they will now do everything in their power to win the game against us in front of their own fans. We can expect a full arena with frenetic fans and we have to make sure we keep believing in ourselves. I think we're strong enough to beat them for the second time despite our personnel situation. But you can't expect any miracles now.
The game against Gloria will be important for the dream to continue in the European League. We learned from the last game that Gloria is a strong team with power and smartness. The team who keeps the speed and play on their terms will emerge victorious in this game, and I hope it will be us!
The next game is the most difficult and important match for us in the beginning of the year. In Bistrita, the score was 19-19 and we are aware that whoever wins the next match, has the best chance for the first place in the group. We have our chance if we play with the same attitude and desire in defence, but we also need a collective game and more responsibility in attack.
It will be important that our game against Malaga is not too rushed; unfortunately, this has been characteristic for the team lately. We played with several mistakes, we are trying to fix them. Malaga's players are very routine, able to show a mature, well-thought-out game. A well-structured offensive game and a consistent defence will be important against them.
We come back to the competition against one of the most competitive teams of the group. We have a great challenge ahead, we need to follow the plan of the previous home match against them
I’m pleased how we solved our first game against Targu Jiu. But we have enough experience at this level to know that we have to be well prepared and play a good game to have a chance of winning. Away matches are always difficult.
We hope to have a good game and start the match well. We learned from the first leg in Norway, their style of play is different, but any team can be defeated if we play smart, and we put our heart into it