HSV wary of Montpellier threat
HSV Hamburg veteran goalkeeper Enid Tahirović speaks to ehfCL.com before the ehfTV Match of the Week against French champions Montpellier Agglomération HB on Sunday.
ehfCL.com: Since Montpellier lost at home against Ademar León (27:29) last weekend, probably all teams think they can now take points from the capital of French handball?
Enid Tahirović: I can’t agree even though they have had a few defeats in a row. Despite their internal problems the French roster is still solid with Accambray, Metličić, Robin, Mamelund etc... We won’t have an easy job there for sure. My team isn’t in the best form, we have a lot of problems with injuries. We will be without injured Marcin Lijewski, probably with a right-handed player (Duvnjak) at right back. I expect an open match, no matter how much Montpellier have been affected by specific situation in the last two weeks.
ehfCL.com: Did you expect León’s victory in Montpellier?
Enid Tahirović: Honestly, no. I was surprised with the performance of Spaniards against us in Round 1. Ademar has made a new, young team with Ruesga and Malumbres as the only very experienced players. But no matter, Montpellier should have won. I believe that it is still extremely difficult to win points in France.
ehfCL.com: Was your draw last weekend against Chekhovskie Medvedi (27:27) also a surprise?
Enid Tahirović: We were assured of victory, but in the end we missed the last shot. The whole match was strange. As I mentioned before, HSV have a lot of problems. Lacković came off his sick bed for the match, and without Hens and with injured Lijewski playing against the complete Russian national team reinforced with two or three more players, a draw wasn’t a big surprise. We weren’t disappointed, because we knew the real situation.
ehfCL.com: Who do you see as the favourites to win Group A after two rounds?
Enid Tahirović: I didn’t see a clear favourite even before the problems in France. Three or four teams have a chance to win the Group. Montpellier took a point in Flensburg, we won in Spain and lost one point against Medvedi, while León won in France. It will not be certain until the last round. Serbian RK Partizan could also take some points. They played well in the first two matches. I think that they are ready to beat someone in Niš - hopefully, that won’t be HSV!
ehfCL.com: This season has HSV down as favourites to win the VELUX EHF Champions League and DKB Bundesliga. Is that to your advantage?
Enid Tahirović: Of course, we are looking to win all the matches. Obviously, we haven’t been lucky with injuries. So far this season we haven’t played a single match with a full squad available. That is the biggest reason why the management and fans don’t put pressure on us. HSV aren’t playing well at the moment, but we are in a winning streak and that is what is important. We aren’t brilliant, but in the end, it is only important to win.
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TEXT: Žika Bogdanović