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31.10.2008, 10:10
Viborg: clear objectives
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Coach Vestergaard tells Eurohandball.com that his team is prepared for the CL. The new head coach knows that the ultimate goal is winning the trophy.
 

Viborg: clear objectives

Danish champion Viborg HK is unstoppable in the Danish league this season. They won all their matches, the closest game by six goals. They qualified for the Danish Cup Final without any problems at all. Viborg will start the Champions League with a lot of self confidence. Their first game will be away to Metz on Saturday.

“I’m sure we will have difficult games in the Danish league too, but I admit that we are pretty sharp at the moment. Our defence is particularly strong, maybe we had two worse half-times so far,” Viborg´s new head coachJakob Vestergaard told Eurohandball.com. Vestergaard analysed the chances and expectations.

Viborg fans expect the trophy from the teamEurohandball.com: Your team´s domestic performances so far indicate that you are very well prepared for the Champions League group stage. Do you agree?

Jakob Vestergaard: I think we are very well prepared. We have no injuries now and it means that we have an extremely high intensity at trainings.

Eurohandball.com: You were promoted from assistant coach to head coach before the season. What was the reaction of the players?

Jakob Vestergaard: I was received very well. They completely bought my concept and I had the chance to watch things from the background and decide what should be changed in order to get far internationally this season.

Eurohandball.com: So what have you changed compared to Tomas Ryde?

Jakob Vestergaard: I took more control on things and I took away one training session in the hall per week in order to increase number of physical trainings. In general, we have been training harder this season. We have more players at the training sessions and we increased our defensive work at trainings.

We have extremely good goalkeepers and in order to give them the best possible working conditions we have put a lot more focus on our defence.

Eurohandball.com: Is it the result of this harder training that we can see right now?

Jakob Vestergaard: Yes, I think so. I was a bit sad that KIF were allowed to score 17 goals against us in the second half recently, but as you said, we are still undefeated. On general I can only be content.

Eurohandball.com: Are you not afraid that the team may reach its peak too early?

Jakob Vestergaard: No, not at all. So far we have been putting the emphasis on the physical side of things, but apart from that I can still see some aspects of our game to improve – significantly. In particular, I think of the situations when we play in man advantage. We still have to improve in this.

Eurohandball.com: What do you think about your CL group with Krim, Nürnberg and Metz there?

Jakob Vestergaard: I believe it is a fine group. I was surprised that Metz managed to qualify for the group against such strong teams as Byåsen and Volgograd. I watched their matches in that qualification group in Norway and I think they play attractive handball. Regarding Krim, I think they depend a lot on Bodnieva’s fitness. If she will be okay, we will meet the world’s probably best pivot. I’m a little in doubt about Nürnberg, but they played a fantastic last season. They were the great surprise in Germany and they still have a strong team.

Eurohandball.com: It will be probably crucial for you to reach the main round, but also to qualify from the first position…

Jakob Vestergaard: Yes, and we will go for the first place in any case. However, I think that some of the other groups are so strong that also the teams ranked second can turn out to be extremely strong. Therefore I think we will have an extremely tough main round with very strong teams.

Eurohandball.com: What is your goal for the Champions League in general this season?

Jakob Vestergaard: Our first goal is to reach the semi-finals, but if you ask the girls, there is no doubt that their ambitions are bigger than that.

Personally, I would like to lift the Champions League trophy at the end of the tournament, of course. Basically, that is what we are train for so hard day after day.


TEXT: Peter Bruun
 
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