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20.02.2008, 11:37
Hoping for the semi-finals
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Eurohandball.com talks to Christian Fitzek, sporting director of HSV Hamburg before the match against Portland.
 

Hoping for the semi-finals

It’s the first year ever for HSV Hamburg in the EHF Champions League. Nevertheless, after eight matches in the Group Phase and Main Round, the German runner-up are still unbeaten. After a draw in Flensburg and a victory at home against Zagreb, HSV are leading Group 3.

The goal that may be very valuable at the end: Yoon equalises in FlensburgOn Wednesday, the Hamburg team will meet Portland San Antonio in the top match of this week in their group. Eurohandball.com talks to Christian Fitzek, the sporting director of the club.

Eurohandball.com: Hamburg are unbeaten after two matches. What’s your opinion about the chances of reaching the semi-finals?

Fitzek: We have four similar teams in a very strong group, so it’s hard to make a prognosis. If we win our home matches and get two more points in our away matches, we have good chances to reach the semis. But all the other teams can count with the points in the same way.

Eurohandball.com: Did you expect these results in your group?

Fitzek: I was surprised of the clear defeat of Portland in Zagreb, but after our match against the Croatians I know that they are very tough opponents and you can lose against them.

Eurohandball.com: Are you satisfied with the HSV performance in the Main Round?

Fitzek: We’re glad to have three points, but it’s not the optimum. We played very badly in Flensburg and earned one point very luckily as Flensburg were the better team. In the match against Zagreb it was completely the other way round: we played a dominant role for 45 minutes and were leading by ten goals, but at the end we played badly and the gap decreased to three goals. If we want to reach the semifinal, we have to play with more stability.

Eurohandball.com: What do you expect from the match against Portland?

Hens is key player in the good seriesFitzek: We want to win – as any other result would be a step back in our objective to reach the semi-final. But we know well: when two top class teams meet, mostly the little things decide the match. I hope that we – supported by our spectators – will have these “little things” on our side.

Eurohandball.com: For HSV it’s the second home match in the CL within one week. How many spectators do you expect?

Fitzek: For our spectators it’s a big burden, but this is meant in the positive way. Two top matches in CL and two top matches in the Bundesliga mean a lot and specially a lot of money for the spectators. But the best handball players of the world will meet in Hamburg and for our spectators it’s a great honour to see us and support us, so we calculate with about 7,000 spectators for the match against Portland.

Eurohandball.com: Did the “value” and the importance of the CL change respect to the Bundesliga now that you have international success?

Fitzek: No. At the beginning of the season we tried not to rank the two competitions as this is not the style of the club or the team. We want to win every match and with this attitude we can achieve our objectives – in all the competitions we play.


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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