Tvis Holstebro remain confident
In spite of being three goals down after the first leg of their Round 2 tie against Tauron Stal Mielec in the EHF Cup qualifiers, Team Tvis Holstebro remain confident that they can still reach Round 3 and be in the deciding race for the group phase.
The Danes lost the first match in Poland 26-23, but if there is one man in the Holstebro team who knows that three goals is not a lot in European handball, it is Anders Petersen.
With seven seasons in the Champions League with KIF Kolding behind him, the 29 year old goalkeeper has more European experience than any of his current team-mates, and this may come in useful in a team, where many players do not have a lot of international experience.
Before the second leg of the match eurohandball.com talked to Anders Petersen who has been out of the European lime light, since he left Kolding for Holstebro in the summer of 2011.
eurohandball.com: After your Champions League experience with Kolding, what is it like for you to be back in European handball?
Anders Petersen. It is nice to be back. It is always nice to play those European matches – to meet some teams that you do not meet every day and to meet some new challenges.
eurohandball.com: Where does your large experience come in useful in your current team?
Anders Petersen: I am not really sure that my experience in European handball means that much here. We have quite a lot of young players who have a lot of fighting spirit and self confidence, and they are not easily intimidated by the European atmosphere – but, of course I can help calming things down in situations where we are under particular pressure. For instance, this past weekend in Poland, it was important to remind our young players that it was not a must for us to win the match, but that each goal was important on the other hand.
eurohandball.com: It may have come as a surprise to many people in Denmark that you lost in Poland. Why did you lose?
Anders Petersen: Many people tend to see Polish handball as Plock and Kielce only. However, Stal Mielec surprised us by being physically very strong team, and as we did not have much material on them in advance, we were taken a bit by surprise. Therefore we got five down in the first half, and not until way into the second half did we play the way we wanted. Furthermore, their crowd put a lot of pressure on us. There were only 1600, but in the small intimate hall they sounded like 5-8000.
eurohandball.com: Your coach Klavs Bruun Jørgensen has uttered there is a lot of room for improvement before the return match. Do you think you can take the aggregate win and proceed to Round 3?
Anders Petersen: The short answer to that question is: Yes! Obviously I have to say that, but I also believe in it based on the fact that we can improve in a lot of areas compared to the first match, where we did not play particularly well to be honest. We might have lost by six or seven or even eight goals, and in that case it would have been really difficult for us to get any further in the tournament.
eurohandball.com: What are your ambitions in the EHF Cup? Do you dream of the group phase?
Anders Petersen: With our defeat in Poland we have placed ourselves in a situation, where we have to take one match at a time. If we get on to the third round, a lot will obviously depend on the draw. We hope to avoid teams such as Rhein-Neckar Löwen and Kolding, as they are probably the strongest teams left, and for us it would really be fun to play that new group phase.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / br