Coach Says Győr Have 51% to Go ThroughArticle
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Kálmán Róth is satisfied that the difficult times are already behind his team, but he is cautious about the chances.

Coach Says Győr Have 51% to Go Through

After the convincing victory over Larvik HK of Norway, interviewed Kálmán Róth, the head coach of Győri Audi ETO to find out how he saw the game from inside and what his views were on the chances for the return leg. Your team seemed to have dominated throughout the whole game, even though Larvik had been and still is a not-so-secret favourite for the Champions League title this year. Were they playing worse than you expected or your team surprised you positively?Radulovic plays again after injury

Kálmán Róth: Győr have two faces most of the time. What I mean is that if you look at the face we showed in January and February, Larvik were better today than our own performance a month ago. They would have beaten us if we had not improved significantly. On the other hand, if you look at our line-up this year, you can see that we have quite a few good players, so we have always had the potential to play the way we did today, but we could not realize that potential before. Do you think it was an advantage that you had already played Larvik last year?

Kálmán Róth: Yes, I think so, because their squad did not change much since then. I know that they signed Chernova, but she did not play today, so we were essentially facing the same team. We knew their key players, and we knew that their tactical concept did not change fundamentally as their coach is the same, too. Nothing can surpass the importance of the first hand experience that our players can get in a game, and we could utilise that experience this time. It’s not like the video analysis, because you can relate to what you felt when you were playing against them last year, how the opponent moved, what was their reaction time and habitual movements and all that. Győr was not playing very well in January; you lost some games in the Hungarian championship, too. How could you overcome that low period?

Kálmán Róth: We could set things straight in our players’ minds. They understood once again that the only thing they can rely on is the hard work that they accomplish every day. We did work very hard, both physically and also in terms of tactical development to realise our goals. Regarding the motivation, all our players know that they have to perform very well just to get into the provisional squad. We have talented young handballers, who are eager to prove themselves, so nobody can lean back and relax thinking that they have a secure place in the team. The other factor is that our players have really reached a stage when they want to show the world what they can accomplish in such a high-key international competition. Well, they did play the final in the CWC and the EHF Cup in four consecutive years…

Kálmán Róth: Yes, but the CL is different, the final is a very long way to go in this competition. The very fact that we have made it to the quarterfinals of the CL is already a great achievement, because it means that we are in the elite of international handball. You know, if they organised a round-robin tournament for these eight teams, I am sure that they would play in front of a packed house each time. However, the nature of the CL is that if you lose a duel, you drop out of the contest, and that is a fact that we have to accept. I can also feel that my players do not want to stop in the quarterfinal; they are very much driven to show the handball community and the fans that no aim is too high for them. How do you see the chances for the return leg?

Kálmán Róth: Before this victory, I said that our chance was 50 per cent. We have increased it today, now it’s 51%. Larvik are an excellent team, and I am sure that they will do their best on home ground to beat us. I don’t expect surprises, I think they will play their usual game, and we will have to be prepared for that. If we can show our own best, we have slightly better chances to go through.

TEXT: Sándor Joo (