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20.04.2015, 13:00
Slovenia ready to display winning mentality
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PREVIEW: Following a perfect record from two matches played so far, Slovenia prepare for the biggest test on their road to EHF EURO 2016 as they face the group leaders Sweden
 

Slovenia ready to display winning mentality

Slovenia have done well to record four points from two games and find themselves ranked second in the EHF EURO 2016 Qualification Group 3, with the same number of points as their upcoming rivals Sweden.

Being only three goals short from the four-time EHF EURO champions means the match played in Sweden on 29 April will give the winning team the edge of having the decisive two-point advantage, before the teams meet again in Slovenia (3 May).

"We have set the goal before us of playing at the European Championship in Poland. Behind us are already two games and two victories, but we also have the match with Sweden ahead," said Slovenian national team coach Boris Denic for rokometna-zveza.si.

Winning mentality

Having been in charge of Slovenian national team since 2010, Denic explains the reasons why the silver medallists from the EHF EURO 2004 can qualify for their tenth EHF EURO, after missing out on the event in 2014.

"Sweden do not require special any special introduction, as we all know what kind of team they are. Most of their players play in Germany, and they make for a top quality team.

"Ever since the start of the qualifications, we have always had this winning mentality and will continue to display that philosophy throughout.

"There are two very strong upcoming matches in the group, but we were always focused on the win, and will do it again against Sweden," said Denic, confident that the fighting spirit of his team will display come the away clash against Sweden.

Two omissions, one key return

The squad to face Sweden sees two changes compared to the team that finished eighth at the World Championship in Qatar.

While there is an existing injury problem with David Spiler, Vid Kavticnik is healthy, and yet overlooked by Denic on the his list.

The absence of the experienced Vid Kavticnik, will however unlikely be a hindrance for Slovenia, already boasting excellent talent on the right wing position with Dragan Gajic and Gasper Marguc, who both are on the squad list to face Sweden.

"My logic was that we have a younger player (Gasper Marguc) on the right wing position at this time, and he needs to play.

"Vid Kavticnik will always be part of my plans, but not so much as the right wing. On the right back position, however, we already have four available players, but this time I have decided to include only Jure Dolenec and Jure Natek," says the 47-year old coach.

With the two experienced players missing from the team, Denic and the expectant Slovenian fan-base will be delighted that the young starlet Borut Mackovsek’s form for Montpellier Agglomeration HB of late, granted him a way back into the Slovenian team after a long injury spell.

"I’m delighted that Borut Mackovsek is back to playing good handball again. I expect him to be a big threat to the Sweden goal, and his presence in the team will help us a lot in spreading their defence," said Denic of one the greatest talents in Slovenian handball.

Slovenia’s squad for the EHF EURO 2016 qualifiers against Sweden:

Goalkeepers: Primoz Prost (Frisch Auf Göppingen), Matevz Skok (RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko), Gorazd Skof (HBC Nantes)

Wing players: Luka Zvizej (RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko), Simon Razgor (HC Meshkov Brest), Dragan Gajic (Montpellier Agglomeration HB), Gasper Marguc (MKB-MVM Veszprem),

Back court players: Klemen Cehte (Pays d’Aix), Borut Mackovsek (Montpellier Agglomeration HB), Sebastian Skube (Bjerringbro-Silkeborg), Marko Bezjak (SC Magdeburg), Dean Bombac (MOL-Pick Szeged), Uros Zorman (KS Vive Tauron Kielce), Jure Natek (SC Magdeburg), Jure Dolenec (Montpellier Agglomeration HB),

Line players: Miha Zvizej (Fenix Toulouse), Uros Bundalo (Tremblay en France), Blaz Blagotinsek (RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko), Matej Gaber (Montpellier Agglomeration HB)


TEXT: Nemanja Savic / ts
 
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