Maximum effort on the court
Despite great self-confidence collected in test matches, Hungary will miss Máté Lékai at the EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia.
Hungary has shown great results in its preparation games, with coach Lajos Mocsai’s team winning two tournaments, and last weekend in Germany, they won and lost once against the hosts.
Those games took place without Szeged’s quality playmaker Máté Lékai who was out with a knee injury.
The gifted centre-back was about to return to the national team for the final test match against Bahrain, but latest news just reported that he will be out for a longer period.
In this interview Lékai talks about the Hungarian preparations, team unity and the strong group opponents at the EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia.
ehf-euro.com: How is your injury now?
Máté Lékai: My knee started to hurt right after we returned to the National Team in January. We still don't know exactly what the problem is, but I'm receiving some suitable treatment. I hope it will get better in the next few days.
ehf-euro.com: Hungary have played several preparation matches. Are you satisfied with those good results?
Máté Lékai: I think we are quite strong and I hope nobody will misjudge us from now on. I think we had a very effective preparation period, and that will be very useful for the EHF EURO 2012.
ehf-euro.com: Your coach Lajos Mocsai said that Hungary is in the "Death Group", and it will be extremely hard to qualify from it. What do you think about his statement?
Máté Lékai: Yes, I also think this is the hardest group. The first match will be the key, and I think the Russians know that, too. If we can win against them, anything could happen.
If we lose, our situation will be very hard as Spain and France are among the world's best four teams. If we beat Russia maybe we’ll believe that we can beat them too.
ehf-euro.com: Your team played two tight preparation matches against Germany, with a victory in the second match. Do you think it gave you confidence?
Máté Lékai: Yes, that was a good result in Germany and it gave us great self-confidence. Even so, I feel that Germany is not among the very best teams in the world these days, such as Spain, France or Denmark, so we musn’t get too carried away with this result.
ehf-euro.com: What do you think is the main strength of your team?
Máté Lékai: It’s our team unity. We don't have star players, but we have a very good community. We will die for each other on the court, and we really like each other as friends. We all try to give the maximum when we are playing together.
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TEXT: Ildikó Balogh (handball.hu)