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27.02.2017, 10:55◄ last page     

INTERVIEW: After two losses the pressure was mounting on Kielce's head coach. However, a MOTW victory somewhat has eased the pressure as Dujshebaev talks about his future, the FINAL4 and a season riddled with injuries

Talant Dujshebaev:  “In sport soon everything is forgotten”

“Today I have a contract, but if we lost tonight, five thousand people would have liked me to leave,” said Talant Dujshebaev after KS Vive Tauron Kielce took a Round 12 win against MOL-Pick Szeged. The past two defeats against Rhein-Neckar Löwen and Celje almost crossed out the Polish champions chances of winning Group B.

It seems that the first victory of the year came just in time to rescue the team’s morale and freshen the players’ heads. Despite the hall after the game being full of cheery feelings, the coach of Kielce didn’t avoid a bitter analysis of the current situation and even mentioned the recently fired coach of Leicester City, Claudio Ranieri.

It was the first victory for you in the VELUX EHF Champions League this year. How important was it to stop this bad streak?

Talant Dujsheabev: Very, very much so. After the past two defeats it was good for us to play against such good team like Pick Szeged and finally win. Working together with our fans was crucial tonight. In the first half we made too many easy mistakes, we were too nervous. In the second half, it was better, our goalkeeper Slawek Szmal supported us when we needed him and gave us opportunities to score on the counter-attack.

You must have been nervous too; the third loss would have been a little disaster, right?

Talant Dujsheabev: Me? Before the game, I was very sad for the boys. It hurt me to watch them losing in Celje and Mannheim. But I’m always okay. I knew we needed to forget about these past games.

The players openly admit that they’re disappointed to lose the first spot in the group. Are you as well?

Talant Dujsheabev: I’m disappointed with many things but I don’t want to say too much, I can’t show you everything that goes through my head. We will fight on regardless. We still have two matches left. Theoretically we can finish first, but it will be very hard to do this because Vardar would have to lose three points which now seems impossible.

Exactly, you can win next two games by twenty goals each, but it still may be not enough to improve your position. Is there anything harder for an athlete than the feeling of dependence on the others?

Talant Dujsheabev: You’re right, it’s very hard to cope with that. We need to fully realise that nobody is going to help us; nobody is going to appreciate us until we achieve everything on our own. Today we are third, but we will see in two weeks, after last match.

This season injures are coming in one after the other. It seems like sometimes instead of focusing strictly on tactics you need to rack your brain how to fill certain gaps, right?

Talant Dujsheabev: No, I can’t complain about this. We are Vive Tauron Kielce. We have seventeen players, if three or four are injured, we’re still in the game. It’s a part of setting a strategy and we just need to shuffle the players between the positions. I’m sure that this is an important investment for the future.

Do you still begin training with words that “it’s X days left until the FINAL4”?

Talant Dujsheabev: Yes, I always keep count on important events for us, like the FINAL4, World Championships or the Olympics. I count out how many days, trainings, matches and opportunities we have. It’s very important so that everyone knows exactly what awaits us.

And what’s ahead of you? Your first thought after winning the Champions League past season was that maybe it’s high time to leave Kielce, as you achieved everything and you already made a mistake of staying too long in Ciudad Real, which you don’t want to repeat.   

Talant Dujsheabev: I’m professional. When my time comes, I will leave. But now we still have something to work on. This uncertainty is a nice side of my life. But on the other hand, sport is some strange kind of thing where soon everything is forgotten.

Look, where Ranieri (coach of football team Leicester City – ed.) is now. This is it, instead of building him a monument, they threw him away. The club that has never achieved anything was an example for the whole sports world. This coach didn’t deserve such treatment. Today I have a contract, but if we lost tonight, five thousand people would like me to leave. But this is sport and you can’t pay attention to what people say.

TEXT: Magda Pluszewska / bc

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