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11.06.2013, 20:57
Slovenia still with fate in their own hands
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Coach Denič and his men have the clearest of goals – two victories.
 

Slovenia still with fate in their own hands

Two narrow consecutive defeats against Iceland in the European Championships qualifiers were a bitter pill to swallow for Slovenia, who currently sit third in Group 6 with 3 points, behind Iceland (8 pts) and Belarus (5 pts).

The Slovenians are still holding their fate in their own hands though but have to win both of the remaining qualifying matches in order to travel to Denmark in 2014.

Before the last two crucial matches against Romania and Belarus Boris Denič and his men therefore have the clearest of goals – two victories and securing a place amongst the Europe's elite.

With the domestic championship done and dusted on 1 June, coach Denič immediatelly started assembling the troops in the tranquil spa resort of Zreče on the foothills of Pohorje mountains. The number of the squad grew day by day and for the last couple of days the team is complete.

"I am satisfied with progress of the squad. We have analysed our opponents and are preparing accordingly. The team spirit is appropriate to the task at hand," says Denič, who is not without injury worries.

Due to an ankle injury goalkeeper Gorazd Škof will not travel to Romania, who are yet to win a point in the group. Škof will undergo additional exams and treatment and will hopefully be fit for the decisive encounter with Belarus on Sunday.

Left back Nenad Bilbija is recovering and looking better by the day and line player Matej Gaber has caught styes on both eyes that could prevent him from competing.

There are some other knocks and bruises in the team. But Jure Dobelšek (knee), Luka Žvižej (back) and captain Uroš Zorman (thigh) look good in training, and they are all expected to be fully fit come throw off.

Denič has announced a deep defence against the Romanians, which should cause the opposition as much trouble as in the first match in Koper (34:26).

But the return game in Bucharest should be a different beast altogether thinks Montpellier's Vid Kavtičnik.

"I expect a tough encounter. We will have to be very focused, execute our defence well, and aim for easy goals on the counters. That will be the key. I expect us to win. We have to pick ourselves up after two defeats," he said.

The same sentiment resonates also with Celje's Sebastian Skube: "Both attack and defence look quite good in training. We have to win on Wednesday, so we can confirm our European Championship place in front of the sold out crowd in Ljubljana."

Slovenia squad for the EHF EURO 2014 qualifiers vs Romania and Belarus:

Goalkeepers: Primož Prošt (Frisch auf Göppingen/GER), Urban Lesjak (Celje Pivovarna Laško)
Wingers: Jure Dobelšek (Cimos Koper), Dragan Gajič (Montpellier/FRA), Vid Kavtičnik (Montpellier/FRA), Luka Žvižej ( Celje Pivovarna Laško)
Back court players: Marko Bezjak (Gorenje), Nenad Bilbija (Minden/GER), Jure Dolenec (Gorenje), David Miklavčič (Gorenje), Sebastian Skube (Celje Pivovarna Laško), David Špiler (Croatia Osiguranje Zagreb/CRO), Uroš Zorman (Vive Targi Kielce/POL)
Line players: Matej Gaber (Gorenje), Peter Pucelj (Gorenje), Miha Žvižej (Fenix Toulouse/FRA), Uroš Bundalo (Cimos Koper)


TEXT: Grega Sever / br
 
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