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28.02.2013, 09:13
‘We must prove that Oltchim are a genuine contender,’ says Vestergaard
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The Romanian champions must win against Zvezda if they want to keep in touch with the leaders in Group 2
 

‘We must prove that Oltchim are a genuine contender,’ says Vestergaard

After two defeats and only one win in the first three matches of the Women’s EHF Champions League’s Main Round, Oltchim Râmnicu Vâlcea have left themselves with a tough task to achieve their objective of qualifying for the semi-finals.

The Romanian champions must win on Saturday, 2 February against Russian champions Zvezda Zvenigorod, who remain winless in Group 2.

But coach Jakob Vestergaard is not worried. The Dane, who joined Oltchim last summer, is confident that the Romanian side is up to the task and has his sights set on the game against Zvezda.

Over the past week, Oltchim won all three of their Romanian League matches with ease against HCM Roman (29:22), CSM București (32:24), and Corona Brașov (34:16). However, Vestergaard was absent at the last game, as he dealt with a virus.

Vestergaard will be back on Oltchim’s bench during the game against Zvezda Zvenigorod on Saturday and he speaks to ehfCL.com ahead of the crucial encounter.

ehfCL.com: Oltchim have underperformed in the first half of the main round matches. What was the main reason behind these performances?

Jakob Vestergaard: Well, the home win against Zvezda put us back in business. It won’t be easy to qualify, but I think we can win all of our matches until the end of the group. We are still a team with many new players and are still adapting.

Of course, we are making a lot of mistakes, but the number has severely dropped during the last few games.

Our worst game was against FTC Rail Cargo Budapest and we are trying to fix everything that is wrong right now. It is imperative for us to be better.

ehfCL.com: However, the team still makes a lot of mistakes.

Jakob Vestergaard: It’s true. But we had 32 mistakes against FTC and that number was never reached against Krim or Zvezda. We are continuing to work day after day to be better.

We must prove that Oltchim are a genuine contender to win the Women’s EHF Champions League this season.

ehfCL.com: Do you think about the matches against FTC Rail Cargo Hungaria and Krim Mercator?

Jakob Vestergaard: No, I think it’s not good to focus on so many matches. We will play against Zvezda and they showed at Vâlcea they can be a tricky opponent. They are not out of the competition, they still have everything to play for right now.

If Krim wins against FTC Rail Cargo, we still have a chance to win the group. But still, second place is also good, as we are a great team, with a lot of great players.

ehfCL.com: What do you think that Oltchim has to do against Zvezda?

Jakob Vestergaard: The Russians are a great team and very hard to beat at home. It’s plain and simple: if we don’t win on Saturday, we are in deep trouble. I hope this will motivate the team.

ehfCL.com: Did the financial issues surrounding Oltchim have an impact on the first few games?

Jakob Vestergaard: I can only worry about the technical aspect of the game. We are playing better now, so I don’t think that the financial troubles were the main cause of the losses. We’ll play against Zvezda and see what happens next. 


TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / cor
 
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