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05.10.2007, 13:18
Debutants play key match
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Viborg will meet Zaporozhye on Saturday. The Danes are preparing for a match that could be vital for reaching their objective, third place in the group.
 

Debutants play key match

Viborg HK, debutants in the Men’s Champions League, are optimistic before the home match against ZR Zaporozhye. The match in Group E will be played on Saturday afternoon.

Viborg will have an easier job than last week...“As we are currently fourth in the group and Zaporozhye are third, this will be a key match for us to finish third and advance to the Cup Winners’ Cup from a group. I still consider HSV Hamburg and Chehovskie Medvedi as huge favourites,” Viborg coach Søren Hildebrand told Eurohandball.com.

Viborg finished second in the Danish championship, but they received a wild-card to play in the CL for the first time in their history. The first game was a clear 35-26 away defeat in Hamburg, while they collected only four points in the first five Danish league matches.

Fewer injuries, but long stop for Karlsson

“I do think, however, that we have had an extremely tough opening programme in the domestic league. We had tough away matches against Bjerringbro/Silkeborg and AaB Håndbold and a home match against FCK Håndbold,” said Søren Hildebrand. The team could celebrate a win on Wednesday evening, though, as Viborg won 32-27 against newly promoted Mors/Thy.

“It always requires a lot of concentration to win away against that team, so all in all, I say that this was a fine last test before the match against Zapozhye,” Hildebrand said. While he can be happy that there are fewer injuries in the team, Lukas Karlsson will be missing for a long period.

The shoulder injury that Viborg HK´s Swedish playmaker, Lukas Karlsson, turned out to be much worse than expected. A scan on the Swedish national player’s left shoulder revealed that surgery was necessary. It will mean at least six months of break for Karlsson.

“I expected to stop for up to two months, so this news was really bad. Now at least I know what the situation is and I’m determined to work and fight hard to recover,” the 25-year old added.

“We are all sorry for Lukas who was highly motivated for this season. He was supposed to be the player to lead our attacks,” Torben Østergaard, sports director of Viborg, said.

Now it’s important to make use of all the resources we have in the squad. We still have a strong team even without Lukas and we have to look ahead and make the best of it,” Torben Østergaard added.

Optimistic coach

“Of course it is a severe blow to lose our regular playmaker, Lukas Karlsson for the rest of the season. At least our pivot, Henrik Dreyer, seems to be almost fit after a foot injury he picked up in Hamburg. After all, he scored 6 goals against Mors/Thy and with a little rest the next couple of days, he will be completely fit for Saturday,” said the Viborg coach. Hildebrand also admits that he does not have a lot of information about the opponents:

“We could not get any video on them, not even from their first group match against Chehovskie Medvedi.”


TEXT: Peter Bruun
 
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