Modest expectations in IkastArticle
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Ikast have six points from three games, but coach Kenneth Jensen remains modest and focused on the objectives.

Modest expectations in Ikast

Ikast/Brande EH are among the biggest positive surprises of the first half of the group stage. In spite of being underdogs in Group A before the start, they are now leading the group with six points after three matches. Ikast and Hypo are the only teams in the whole women’s CL with six points.

Ikast have beaten CL title holder Zvezda at home and Győr away from a very difficult situation. Finally, they defeated another former CL winner, Kometal Skopje at home.

Nevertheless, coach Kenneth Jensen remains modest as talks to him. The first half is over. What were your impressions so far?

Kenneth Jensen: We have to be happy with six points from three matches. We were dreaming about it, but we did not really dare to believe in it. We are not satisfied in the Danish league, but we have always done well at home at the European Cup matches. So actually I was quite confident. You showed your strength by beating Zvezda. However, winning in Hungary after being down by eight goals was probably even more sensational…

Kenneth Jensen: Yes, but even when we were down by eight in Győr I felt that we played rather well. We only made too many mistakes. Once we reduced the number of mistakes, things ran more smoothly. It was a fantastic fight and it took enormous willpower to get back into the game. You are right: it was sensational to take a relatively secure win from there. It must have been quite an unusual feeling to be favourites against Kometal…

Kenneth Jensen: Yes, and I think the players handled that situation very well. Although some of them were quite tired after the tough programme, we have been going through lately. Now I suppose you go for the first place of your group?

Kenneth Jensen: We still go for just one of the two positions that take to the main round. The way I see our group at the moment, we will still have to get a couple of points either against Győr or Zvezda to make sure to qualify. In the past, we have even seen groups where eight points were not enough.

Our home match against Győr on 3 January will be the key. It will probably be more difficult to get a point or two in Russia from Zvezda. Apart from the players going to FYR Macedonia, your team is already on holiday. What can you use this long break for?

Kenneth Jensen: Some of our players will be cured from their injuries. For instance, Kari Anne Henriksen had a knee surgery this week on Monday. Katja Nyberg was operated – also on her knee – on Tuesday. Mette Sjøberg will receive treatment for her back injury.

Apart from that, the break is going to be used for trainings and giving the foundations for the upcoming period. We did not have time for this over the summer. We are also going to play a few test matches, but they have not been scheduled yet. Do you expect to have all your injured players fit for the CL restart on 3 January?

Kenneth Jensen: I expect them to be fit for our first match in the second half of the Danish league – the home match against FCK on 30 December or for the match against Győr on 3 January the latest.

TEXT: Peter Bruun