Ready for a long and hard battleArticle
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Itxako coach Ambros Martín summarizes its team performance after the first half of the group phase.

»EHF CL Channel »2010-11 Women's News

Ready for a long and hard battle

Itxako Navarra has started the new season with the motivation to overcome the group phase of the EHF Women's Champions League. The opening defeat at home against Leipzig was disappointing, but the Spanish team has improved its performances and is now at the top of Group B. Coach Ambros Martín talks about the ambitions of his team. How do you feel about the reaction of your team after the initial defeat in the EHF Champions League?

Ambros Martín: I’m very happy. The situation was not easy after our slip-up at home against Leipzig, but we were able to overcome this defeat. We’ve won two games away and the group is very equal now. We are ready for a long and hard battle. After three games, each team within the group still has a chance to qualify. How do you see the chances?

Ambros Martín: That’s true. We think that the final decision will be on the last date. Hypo looked out of it after our victory in Austria, but they were able to win in Leipzig! They showed us that the group is very, very equal. All the teams keep options to be in the next round. We know that every game is a new story to write. There are visitor victories every match day. Is something changing in the EHF Champions League?

Ambros Martín: All the teams are ready to win everywhere in the current season. Teams of different countries are strong enough to compete against every club. Matches are decided by little details: a good save, a good decision, a penalty shot… These details are decisive. Do you feel that your players are becoming more experienced every day?

Ambros Martin: We couldn’t count on important players such as Macarena Aguilar or Raphaëlle Tervel but their team mates have played some great matches. It was a really hard game in Hungary because the pressure of the home fans was very big, but the team showed a brave and mature game. They played a very intelligent match. Are you worried about your team being too relaxed for the next game at home against Hypo?

Ambros Martín: We will have a problem if we think it will be an easy match. We beat them in Austria and gave a great performance, but this will be a completely new game. They will be very strong after their victory in Leipzig and they are a good team. Aguilar and Tervel have not played any games this season. How are they?

Ambros Martín: We are really sad about Raph, because she was very motivated for playing in the Champions League. She has a problem with her back and we hope the new treatment of the injury could help her to be back with us soon. However, she will not be playing before January. Macarena will be back soon. She is very important for us and is not 100% fit, but we need her. We have played all of the games with only five different players for the back line and we desperately need her help.

TEXT: Fernando Urra Goñi