"The game will start from nil-nil”Article
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Hamburg coach Martin Schwalb talks about the chances of HSV to reach the CL semi-finals for the second time in a row.

“The game will start from nil-nil”

Last season HSV Hamburg played in the Champions League for the first time. They were eliminated in a tense semi-final by Ciudad Real. This season, the team of coach Martin Schwalb have the chance again to reach the semi-final. In an exclusive interview with Eurohandball.com, Schwalb talks about the second leg of the quarterfinals against Flensburg – and about the objectives in the three competitions where HSV are still standing.

Schwalb knows that three goals difference can vanish quicklyEurohandball.com: HSV Hamburg won the first leg of the quarterfinal with a three-goal difference in Flensburg. Is this “a big cushion” for the return match?

Schwalb: No, three goals mean nothing in handball. Distances likes this can be closed very quickly. Flensburg still see their chance and they lurk for the semi-final. Like in the first leg, we have to play highly concentrated.

Eurohandball.com: Your right backs, the Lijewski brothers, returned last week after injuries. How important are the two players for your team?

Schwalb: You can see it by looking on the scoreboard of the match in Flensburg. They scored one quarter of our goals. Another important fact is that we now we have two players for each position again and a left back will not have to play on the right back side.

Eurohandball.com: Will it be a matter of the mental fitness? What tactical elements do you expect from Flensburg?

Schwalb: The victory in Flensburg is only the first half of the complete match. We will start from 0:0 and we have to give all. We certainly will not underestimate our opponents.

Eurohandball.com: The arena in Hamburg will be sold out. How important are the spectators and the atmosphere for your team?

Schwalb: Our great spectators and the sold out hall mean a lot to us; this is a great advantage. Even in Flensburg our spectators showed that they have the same high motivation like the team.

Former Flensburg player Lackovic will be importan for HSVEurohandball.com: If you knock Flensburg out, Hamburg will qualify for the semi-finals for the second consecutive time. How important is being among the four best teams in the world?

Schwalb: It would be a great thing for the whole club to reach the second semi-final in our second CL season. Bundesliga is our daily business, but Champions League is something very special here in Hamburg.

Eurohandball.com: HSV are still standing in three competitions: Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League. Where do you see the best chance to win a title?

Schwalb: In the Bundesliga we try to qualify for the CL again. By looking at the German Cup and the Champions League, you see that both competitions are not easy to win. We want to be successful in every competition, and if we’ll win a title at the end, it will sound even better.

TEXT: Björn Pazen