"Optimism and confidence"Article
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Race for the EHF FINAL4: Interview with Chekhovskie Medvedi’s coach Vladimir Maximov.

»EHF CL Channel »2009-10 Men's News

"Optimism and confidence"

This season Russia’s Chekhovskie Medvedi have already met the French champions Montpellier twice in the Group Phase. After being defeated both times, Bears’ coach Vladimir Maximov is now hoping for revenge in the Quarterfinals.

eurohandball.com: In the last nine years, Chekhovskie Medvedi played eight times against Montpellier and lost seven of those games. Is the French champion the team to avoid for the Bears?

Vladimir Maximov: Not really, because when you reach the Quarterfinals of the highest ranked handball club tournament, of the EHF Champions League, all opponents are dangerous, not only the team of Montpellier.

eurohandball.com: In the Group Phase you played against Montpellier twice and lost both matches. Is it an advantage or disadvantage to already know the opponent well?

Vladimir Maximov: In my opinion, it doesn’t really matter. It’s neither an advantage nor a disadvantage. It’s only just the outcome of the draw.

eurohandball.com: What lessons did you learn from the two defeats?

Vladimir Maximov: My players have to understand that the key factor for a good result in games against Montpellier is collective action and not individual attempts. In the Group Phase games that was our problem.

eurohandball.com: Is it a disadvantage to play the second leg game away only three days after the first leg?

Vladimir Maximov: My understanding of draws is that the chances for both teams are equal. It doesn’t really matter where you start in the first leg and where you play the return match. I hope that the decisions of the referees will be on a high level in both games.

eurohandball.com: How do you prepare to defend against Montpellier’s strongest weapon Nikola Karabatic?

Vladimir Maximov: In our last game in Chekhov he scored four goals out of 11 shots. In my opinion, he’s a very capable player. When he moves in with his left shoulder, the defensive player will have a hard time to control his movements and probably cause a penalty. It’s very difficult to set up a suitable defence against him, as he knows perfectly well how to find his spots against defensive formations. It’ll be necessary to mark Karabatic man to man.

eurohandball.com: What is the current player situation at Medvedi? Is everyone fit and ready for the clash?

Vladimir Maximov: Thank God, at the moment all players are in a good shape, so we look at the Quarterfinals filled with optimism and confidence.

eurohandball.com: What would it mean for Chekhovskie Medvedi to be part of the EHF FINAL4?

Vladimir Maximov: That means that we will have achieved our goal for this EHF Champions League season. We aim to be part of the EHF FINAL4 and with this, be among the best four teams in Europe.

Visit ehfFINAL4.com

TEXT: Márk Hegedüs