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5 months ago - 2/11/2019

Strong character and attitude are keys to win, say quotes of the week

There are still three rounds to be played in the VELUX EHF Champions League, and everything has yet to be decided. Whether it is first place and the direct tickets to the quarter-finals or sixth and a chance to compete in the Last 16, all teams can still hope for something. 

It is understandable that some coaches were very happy that their teams earned the points while others could not hide their disappointment.

5. Nikolaj Jakobsen, Rhein-Neckar Löwen coach

“Hardly any of my players played on their top level today, and that is not enough against Vardar. I am not happy with our presentation today.”

Rhein-Neckar Löwen’s coach was not satisfied with his players’ performance and the home defeat, 27:30, against Vardar. The newly crowned world champion clearly expects something else next weekend.

4. Thierry Anti, HBC Nantes coach 

“There is no way a team can beat Paris if they score more than 30 goals.”

Nantes coach Anti knew how hard it would be to defeat Paris in their first Champions League game in 2019. They clearly needed a better defensive performance, as they conceded 35 goals.

3. Patrice Canayer, Montpellier HB coach

“Our attitude and performance were up to the standards you expect in the Champions League.”

This weekend’s win against Meshkov Brest was only the second for Montpellier, the current title holders in the VELUX EHF Champions League. The French side are now back in the race for qualification to the Last 16, as they are tied in sixth with Brest and Kristianstad.

2. Juan Carlos Pastor, MOL-Pick Szeged coach

“It was an incredible atmosphere in the hall; a real MOTW match. We lived through all troubles today, and at the end we showed character. We showed we want to win and at the end did so.”

Celje and Szeged are not so far from each other, and 250 Hungarians travelled to Slovenia to support Pick. The resulting atmosphere was perfect for the first Match of the Week in 2019. 

1. Xavi Pascual, Barça Lassa coach

“Thank you to Veszprém Arena. It is incredible but not easy to play here. It is one of the best arenas in the world for playing.”

After 10 years at the helm of Barcelona, there are some arenas that coach Pascual has grown to love playing in – and Veszprém Arena is one of the favourites. On Saturday, it pushed the locals to beat Barcelona 29:26 in a thriller.

Author: Kevin Domas / cg