Metalurg going ''step by step''Article
«Go back talks to Naumche Mojsovski ahead of their final match against Hamburg

Interview with Naumche Mojsovski

Naumche Mojosvski is Metalurg's leader, the team's brain - unpredictable in attack with a strong shot. 

On Suday they are expected to earn at least one point in the duel with Hamburg that would take them up to second place in Group C.

They will have the support of the audience behind them. The Boris Trajkovski arena in Skopje has been sold out for several weeks for the last group match game against Hamburg. This season Metalurg has reached their biggest club success qualifying among the best 16 in the VELUX EHF Champions League. Before the start of the season, the club had to participate in qualification. How difficult was it to make this happen?

Naumche Mojsovski: I would not be honest if I told you tell that this is a surprise for me. We built the team for several years: our sponsor spent a lot of money to gather many talented players.

We have one of the best coaches in the world, Lino Cervar. Maybe we reached the Last 16 more easily because we secured a place for the knock-out phase two rounds ago.

We expected much closer games in this group but have to admit that Metalurg have played very maturely and have a good defence.  Could you explain the success of the club's season?

Naumche Mojsovski: Good organisation, excellent conditions for training, good club policy and hard practice.

This team was built in three years, and the club has patience for every failure made in the past, they believed in this project. Metalurg go "step by step".

This season our main goal was to qualify to the Group Phase. Now we are going further and setting new goals for the future. This weekend Metalurg play against Hamburg, and both teams are already in the Last 16, the Germans are the favourites in the game. You're looking for at least one point to place second in Group C. Could Metalurg continue their winning streak in front of their fans at home?

Naumche Mojsovski: Of course all of the players are optimistic, especially after the two good games we played in Slovenia against Cimos Koper and in Poland against Orlen Wisla.

Our defence is crucial. If we can keep the attack on Hamburg and score up to 25 goals, then we can only hope for success. All of us are motivated yet expect another difficult game. Regardless of the outcome, Hamburg will finish first place in the group, and we're looking for our chance here. 

So far, no team has beaten us in a full sports hall, and we expect to continue this trend when we play against Hamburg. What is the key to success against Hamburg? How can you win?

Naumche Mojsovski: First, we rely on the defence; it is certainly our key. That will prevent the opponent from scoring easy goals. We cannot let them finish quick attacks. If we accept a fast game, then we don't have a chance.

We have to play patiently with long attacks. Hamburg is among the 4-5 best teams in Europe and knows how to find any error. They lost their home point against Koper and will now seek to prove that it was just a bad day. After nine rounds in the CL, you are among the six best goal scorers.

Naumche Mojsovski: It doesn't matter very much. I'm more of a team player. The important thing is to win, and the individual is always in the background. On the other hand, opponents have now analysed us and know our good and bad sides.

We have to change something, so it's good that other players are in great shape, Kozlina and Markovic, and the back line is unpredictable now with the return of Mirkulovski who was suspended for one game. Metalurg's strength is in the team, not in the individual. After the success of the European Championship in Serbia where Macedonia placed fifth, how much pressure is there on the players? Have fans now become accustomed to success?

Naumche Mojsovski: Metalurg is not a weak team, and everyone knows it. For some, it was a surprise that we reached the EHF EURO in Serbia, and for others, that Metalurg scored in the Champions League.

We do not underestimate anyone, or overestimate for that matter. We are aware of their qualities, but now we can easily play regardless of who the opponents are.

Fans just want to win, and it's the same way for the club. Before we went to matches thinking, 'Don't lose with a big goal difference,' and now we travel with the thought of how to win. Metalurg is already in the Last 16. Some of the possible opponents are already known. Who would you like to play in the next stage?

Naumche Mojsovski: There aren't any easy or tough opponents. They are all strong. Most important will be that we're not fourth in the group, which means you'll avoid some of the favorites. We would certainly not want an opponent from Denmark.

If I could choose I might wish our opponent to be Savehof, Zagreb or Ademar, but wishes are one thing and luck in the draw is something else. First, we need to win against Hamburg and only then can we think of what's next.

TEXT: Goran Antevski