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14.11.2013, 13:22
Biegler asks for patience ahead of EHF EURO 2014
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INTERVIEW: The head coach of the Polish team sees his squad on the right track towards the EHF EURO in Denmark, but agrees that there is room for development before the first match throws off on 13 January
 

Biegler asks for patience ahead of EHF EURO 2014

Following their second place at the four-nation Super Cup tournament in Germany at the beginning of November which was accompanied by some strong performances, Poland's national team is looking confident towards the Men's EHF EURO 2014 in Denmark

However, considering their strong rivals in Group C, Serbia, France and Russia, there are still many steps to take in order to make the tournament a successful one, as head coach Michael Biegler told ehf-euro.com.

ehf-euro.com: At what level do you see your team following its second place at the Super Cup in Germany?
Michael Biegler: The training camp we had before the tournament and the Super Cup itself were another step in the team's development - first for our intermediate goal, the EHF EURO 2014, and second for our bigger goal, the EHF EURO 2016 in Poland. We have further developed our philosphy of the game.

We also wanted to find some alternatives on playing positions such as right back and the centre back. I must say that the qualifying matches for the EURO 2014 were difficult because key players sometimes did not live up to the expectations. When this happens, the team must be prepared to stand up for it and it appears highly advisable for internationally inexperienced players to practice playing on the ‘international stage’.

This happened not only at the Super Cup, but also at the tournament in Wagrowiec where our B-team played against B-teams from Norway and Germany.

ehf-euro.com: Have you already found the players who will play during EHF EURO 2014 in Denmark?
Michael Biegler: I don’t want to speak about the names now, because it’s too early for that. It’s very important to me that we make the next necessary step in our development.

In recent games the team has been on the winning track many a times. They showed excellent retreat skills and an equally excellent defence game. Of course, the team has a great potential for rapid responses, for example fast breaks, and we continue to work on it. In my point of view, we must develop our attacking game to get the highest international level.

ehf-euro.com: You have a wide selection of good players to choose from. You can choose from KS Vive Targi Kielce as well as Orlen Wisla Plock. Have you already made up the ultimate line-up for the tournament in Denmark?
Michael Biegler: Until December 10 we need to name 28 players for the EURO 2014. From this group we will choose the final team. As far as new players for the national team are concerned, I must say that we are open.

The players can consistently convince with their performance on the club level. At it stands Plock and Kielce are certainly the major clubs where our internationals come from, but not all of them. We can also mention, for example, KS Azoty Pulawy. You have to constantly watch the clubs to see which players have the skills we need.

ehf-euro.com: What are the crucial decisions you have to make in the lead-up to the EHF EURO?
Michael Biegler: I hope the players will use this time to prepare for the EURO 2014 and will not get any injuries. We keep in touch with the injured players such as Bartosz Jurecki and Mariusz Jurkiewicz and keep our fingers crossed for their comeback. Finally, we will start analysing our EURO 2014 opponents.

ehf-euro.com: Which tournament is more important? This one in 2014 or the one in 2016 in Poland?
Michael Biegler: The European Championships in Poland are certainly very important and I think all handball fans look forward to watching the games during this big event.

However, you can’t expect that any big tournaments, like the EURO in 2014 and the World Championship in 2015, will have a huge impact on the development of the team. We try to have more players prepared for playing on the international level.

We also want to create a team for 2016 while having in mind all the major events. In my opinion, Poland's should represent itself in the best way possible at all big tournaments.

ehf-euro.com: How do you rate Poland's chances at the EHF EURO 2014?
Michael Biegler: It’s too early to make some predictions. It would be good to hold off a bit as that will help us more with developing the final condition of the team. However, our aim should be that we qualify for the main round.

ehf-euro.com: Poland will play in Group C against Serbia, France and Russia. Who is your biggest rival?
Michael Biegler: There should be no doubts about the class of the French national team. Serbia are expected to repeat the result from the European Championships and surely want to be on podium again and Russia reached the quarter-final at the World Championship this year. They seem to be very strong, too.

All these teams demand respect, but we are not afraid of them. We should definitely have an equal chance in every game in this group. But as I have mentioned before: let’s wait a bit because it is too early to make predictions. We don’t even know the line-ups of our rivals.

ehf-euro.com: Do you have, as an experienced coach, any recipe for success?
Michael Biegler: Our success strategy is winning by making use of our high quality retreat skills and our defence. But while we have really good defence, this is not enough.

You will not will the game using only defence. What we want to improve is to react after conceding goals easier and faster. We build our final shape step by step and I am highly convinced we are on the right way.


TEXT: Katarzyna Pankowska / ts
 
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