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24.04.2015, 10:29
Only two wins count for Czech Republic
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PREVIEW: Czech Republic face Switzerland in the EHF EURO Qualification and are already under pressure after having gained just one point so far
 

Only two wins count for Czech Republic

Having gained just one point in two matches so far, Czech Republic are already under pressure in the EHF EURO 2016 Qualification ahead of their double-header against Switzerland on 29 April and 2 May.

However, head coach Daniel Kubes assures that confidence remains high:  “I’m really looking forward to the matches against Switzerland.

"We have not been with the players since the end of the World Championship in Qatar. It will be great to see them and work with them again."

Czech Republic did not make it past the group stage at Qatar 2015 but eventually boosted their confidence by winning the President’s Cup.

"We want to continue from where left in our last games at the World Championship. These two matches against Switzerland will be crucial for the qualification and they will be extremely difficult."

Kubes also underlines that team spirit has grown and that Czech Republic has moved away from focusing their play only on superstar Filip Jicha.

"The time we spent together at the World Championship has helped us a lot as a team. We shared the experience and went through the difficulties and the excitement together. And this has made the team stronger. We just need to prove it in the qualification games."

Well-known environment

An advantage for Czech Republic might be that the second part of their coaching duo, Jan Filip, spent many years at TSV St. Omar St. Gallen.

Furthermore goalkeeper Martin Galia and centre back Tomas Baba currently play at St. Gallen.

"Jan (Filip) has a lot of experience with Swiss handball. He knows most of the players well and I’ll certainly listen to him carefully. Then we can prepare the team together effectively," says Kubes.

Despite the added pressure, Kubes does not want to exaggerate the importance of the double-header.

"For me, every match is important. Every qualifier, no matter who you face is crucial in the end. We are in a situation in which we need every point, so yes, from this of view it might add to the importance."

The truth is that only two wins will count. Having to play France at home and Macedonia away in June in the final two qualification rounds, Kubes is aware that only four points will keep them in the race.

"I will only be satisfied with two wins from two games," eventually confirms the 37-year-old coach.

Czech Republic first play Switzerland away on Wednesday, 29 April at 20:00 hrs. Both teams meet again three days, on 2 May, later in Plzen at 17:00 hrs.

The Czech Republic squad for matches against EHF EURO qualifiers against Switzerland:

Goalkeepers: Martin Galia (St. Otmar St. Gallen), Petr Stochl (Füchse Berlín, Německo).

Back court: Tomas Babak, (St. Otmar St. Gallen), Roman Becvar (Empor Rostock), Ladislav Brykner (Aue), Pavel Horak (Füchse Berlin), Filip Jicha (THW Kiel), Petr Linhart, Milan Skvaril (both Talent M.A.T. Plzen), Ondrej Zdrahala (Hamm-Westfalen).

Wingers: Jakub Hrstka (Tatran Presov), Miroslav Jurka (St. Raphaël VAR HB), Milan Kotrc (Dukla Praha), Jan Sobol (Azoty Pulawy).

Line players: Jakub Sindelar, Leos Petrovský (both Talent M.A.T. Plzen), Tomas Ríha (HSC 2000 Coburg), Jan Uzek (Baník OKD Karvina)


TEXT: Tomas Cuncik / ts
 
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