Atletico Madrid: Constant CommutersArticle
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Atletico Madrid coach Talant Duishebajew is expecting a tough match at Füchse Berlin on Sunday.

Atletico Madrid: Constant Commuters

Since June Renovalia Ciudad Real have changed their name to Atletico Madrid – but despite the new tag the success has remained. The Spanish runners-up have won every one of their first five matches in the domestic league, and are still unbeaten in the VELUX EHF Champions League.

On Sunday the Match of the Week will be the next hurdle for Madrid, as they travel to Füchse Berlin, who also have five points and are level with Madrid.

Atletico coach Talant Dushebajew talks to about the chances of his team, and the problems created by constantly having to travel from their training venue in Ciudad Real and match venue in Madrid. How do you, the team and the staff cope with constantly having to travel from Ciudad Real to Madrid?
Talant Dushebajew: It is not so easy to cope with all the things you have to take care of. We need time to cope with everything, but it is getting better every week. Are you satisfied with the number of spectators in Madrid?
Talant Dushebajew: We are playing in a really big arena with a capacity of 14,000, so we will only sell out in a league match against Barcelona. But when we show the people from Madrid how hard we are working and we start to be successful, I’m sure more will come to our matches. It is still a problem for the people from Ciudad Real, as our league matches are played very late. If they have to work the next day it’s not really possible for them to get to every one of our matches in Madrid. Your team train in Ciudad Real and play matches in Madrid - is this a problem for the players?
Talant Dushebajew: No, the team do not have a problem with this. We go there on a high speed train and return by bus or train, depending on what time we play. I hope that, as we get more games throughout the season, it still won’t be a problem. You have two victories and a draw from your first three games - are you satisfied with the performance of your team in the VELUX EHF Champions League?
Talant Dushebajew: Yes, everything is great! We learnt a lot from the draw against Chekhov, which helped us played really well late in the match against Veszprem. Against Chekhov we played on a high level for 40 minutes, but then lost our concentration. To beat Veszprem is not easy as they are one of the best teams in the world with realistic ambitions to reach the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne. I am satisfied with the way things have gone so far. Did you expect your next opponents Füchse Berlin to be so strong?
Talant Dushebajew: My favourites for reaching the final weekend in Cologne are Montpellier, Kiel, Hamburg and Barcelona – but every German club which qualifies for the VELUX EHF Champions League is another strong contender. In my opinion Berlin have a good chance of reaching the VELUX EHF FINAL4, as they had a brilliant 2010/11 season in the German Bundesliga and were level on points with THW Kiel. Who will start as favourites on Sunday – Madrid or Berlin?
Talant Dushebajew: No matter where we play, we want to win every match. So your team are the favourites?
Talant Dushebajew: I did not say that! Are you satisfied with your new players, such as the tall Dane Nicolaj Markussen?
Talant Dushebajew: He is a very good player, who is important for the future of our club. We have to be patient as he is in a new country with a new language and a new league. Markussen has already shown his strength, but needs to become more consistent. Is your whole team ready for Berlin?
Talant Dushebajew: No, unfortunately our most important defensive player, Didier Dinart, is injured. We do not know if he will be able to play on Sunday - this decision will be taken by our doctors.

TEXT: Björn Pazen