Viborg and Valcea: equal squadsArticle
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Coach Tomas Ryde believes that winning the group against Valcea would have been difficult even with all the players healthy.

Viborg and Valcea: equal squads


That Viborg did not win their group in the first phase of the CL came as a surprise to many handball fans and experts. In fact, many people believed that the Danes were favourites to win the tournament – at least before it started.

Valcea were really good opponentsInjuries partly explain why Viborg only qualified on second position behind Romanian Oltchim Valcea. However, head coach Tomas Ryde is not even sure that his team would have won the group with their strongest line-up. The Swedish coach talks about it in an interview. What do you think about Viborg’s performance so far?

Tomas Ryde: Our away match against Budocnost was not good enough, while we had no real problems at home. Our away game against Oltchim Valcea was very difficult for us, and we had many injuries at the home game. They were also missing some of their players, but they won. Finally, everything was decided, of course, before we met FTC in our last home match. Many consider your team favourites. Are you disappointed that you did not manage to win your group?

Tomas Ryde: Well, our goal was to go on and we did. This is the most important aspect. That we did not win the group, well, this only means that we will have some tough matches in the Main Round and that is the way it has to be then… How much did the injuries influence the results?

Tomas Ryde: Of course it is hard to stay without players such as Louise Bager Due, Christina Várzaru, Lene Thomsen, Kristine Lunde and Henriette Mikkelsen for shorter or longer periods. At certain points we were also without Christina Roslyng, Anja Althaus, Grit Jurack and Bojana Popovic. However, I think that our young substitutes such as Maria Fisker and Lina Rask have done extremely well in the absence of so many key players. Do you think you could have won the group at full strength?

Tomas Ryde: I still think it would have been close between Valcea and us. I believe the chances would have been equal with both teams at full strength all the way. As it turned out, Valcea were also bothered by injuries and after our second match against them their coach, Gheorghe Tadici, complained that some of his players were still tired after the World Championship…

TEXT: Peter Bruun