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04.11.2010, 14:51
"It is all a matter of defence"
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Viborg's line-player Anja Althaus hopes to win in Podgorica on Sunday.
 

"It is all a matter of defence"

Last season Viborg HK won their second consecutive EHF Champions League title, this season the Danish Champion struggles. They have already received two consecutive defeats in the Group Phase.

Viborg’s German line-player Anja Althaus and her team mates have not given up their hopes for going through to the Main Round. But they know the big hurdle ahead of them, the return game at group leader Budućnost Podgorica, including former Viborg player Bojana Popović on Sunday. Despite injury problems in her team, Althaus hopes for a successful change in Montenegro.

ehfCL.com: Viborg is currently leading the Danish league and just stepped to the Cup Final. Why does your team have problems in the EHF Champions League?

Anja Althaus: That’s true, on domestic ground we play really good and the team looks like it is well-rehearsed. In the EHF Champions League, though, we have to play against much stronger opponents in our group. I think that is the main reason for our intermediate trouble.

ehfCL.com: At the moment Viborg HK is suffering from a real injury crisis – who will miss the match in Podgorica?

Anja Althaus: Carmen Amariei and Johanna Ahlm will not only miss the next match, but all our Group Phase matches, as both just received surgery after severe injuries. Both will also not play for their national teams at the EHF EURO 2010 in Denmark and Norway. Additionally Henriette Mikkelsen was ill, but she could play in our league match in Copenhagen on Wednesday, same as Grit Jurack. But those long-term injuries really strike us hardly.

ehfCL.com: As your team only has two points after three CL matches, don’t you think it is time to gain some additional points?

Anja Althaus: Yes, of course – and we are willing to start this catch-up chase in Podgorica on Sunday. We know that it will be really tough match – and they will give us hell with their feverish spectators, but we want to win in Montenegro. We all have to overstep our personal borders and give more than 100 per cent to take the points.

ehfCL.com: Viborg lost the first match against Budućnost clearly on home ground – what has to be changed?

Anja Althaus: Our defence was weak – same as at our loss in Volgograd. You cannot win a match if your opponent scores about or more than 40 goals. The cooperation between defenders and goalkeepers has to improve. In Podgorica we have to be especially aware of their amazing back court with Bojana Popović and Katarina Bulatović. To win there will be a total matter of defence. Aside we did not play with enough aggression in the whole first match against Podgorica. It will be a question of the will and the fighting spirit.

ehfCL.com: Players like Popović or the Lunde sisters left your team before the start of this season – are you already rehearsed?

Anja Althaus: To lose players like those is hard for every club – but this is sports: players come, players leave, new players arrive. We still have good players, the atmosphere in the team is great, we are well-rehearsed. But we are not the same team as last season, you cannot compare both teams, as now we even play a complete different style. But the fact is that we did not "arrive" in the EHF Champions League, as we did last year.

ehfCL.com: Do you still believe in reaching the Main Round?

Anja Althaus: What a question! Yes, we can, as nothing is lost up to now. We lost two matches, ok, but we still have three matches ahead. We will do everything to go on – and I hope that we start on Sunday.

ehfCL.com: Aside Grit Jurack you are the only German female handball player to have won the CL twice – is your dream of the third title still alive?

Anja Althaus: This dream will never end. I will never give up dreaming of this trophy.

The EHF Women's Champions League top game of Group A, ŽRK Budućnost (MNE) vs. Viborg HK (DEN) on Sunday 7 November 2010 at 19:30 hrs (local time), will be broadcast live on our free-of-charge web stream on ehfTV.com.


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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