Ilic: Going for the titleArticle
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For Serbian THW Kiel shooter Momir Ilic, a VELUX EHF Champions League match in Croatia is nothing special.

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Ilic: Going for the title

THW Kiel continue their bid to reach the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne with a quarter-final match at RK Croatia Osiguranje Zagreb on Saturday. Before the clash, Serbian THW shooter Momir Ilic explains the secret of Kiel’s current success – and that their will to win is also evident even in training - in this interview with Will the match in Zagreb be something special for you after facing most of the same players in the EHF EURO semi-final between Serbia and Croatia?
Momir Ilic: No, THW is THW and national team is national team. The game in Zagreb is a normal match of the VELUX EHF Champions League, like in any other venues around the world, nothing special for me. Will the changing of the coach from Ivica Obrvan to Slavko Goluza have an impact on these quarter finals?
Momir Ilic: Maybe. Slvako Goluza knows all the players from the Croatian national team, the players know him, and to change a coach sometimes brings a psychological advantage. And maybe Goluza will change the tactics to what he and the players are used to in the national team. Are the Croatian champions easier to beat than AG Kobenhavn?
Momir Ilic: I would not have wanted to face the same opponent twice after our games in the Group Stage against them. But when you are in the quarter final of the VELUX EHF Champions League you never face easy opponents. Our goal is to reach the VELUX EHF FINAL4 and this is what we are going to, but we know that RK Zagreb is a strong opponent. In the Bundesliga you have a perfect 56 points from 28 matches, in the German Cup you are in the semi-final and in the VELUX EHF Champions League you are among the top eight teams – is there a title you focus on most?
Momir Ilic: No, we only focus on the next match. This is what made us so strong. On Wednesday we won our league match in Göppingen, now we travel to Zagreb to win there. We do not talk about titles, in one month we can talk and look back, when the season is over. It is only the present what counts. But which title would be the most important one?
Momir Ilic: Before the start of the season we fixed our goals – to win all possible titles, and nothing changed since then, there is no priority. Our team has the quality to fight for all titles. Is the current squad the best ever in the club’s history?
Momir Ilic: This is hard to say, as it is hard to compare current handball with former handball. What I believe is that we're playing superb handball at the moment, with all players having superb form. I hope that we can maintain this until the end of the season. What is the specific secret of success?
Momir Ilic: At first it is the quality of the players and the team then the 100 per cent winning mentality, the hunger we have even in a training session. When we play football nobody wants to lose. After winning a match we are hungry to win the next no matter which opponent we face. Last season THW was eliminated in the VELUX EHF Champions League quarter final by Barcelona – do you have those results in mind this year?
Momir Ilic: No, as mentioned we do not care about the past, it is forgotten. The only thing we have in mind is RK Zagreb. But what about positive memories? In 2010 you took the VELUX EHF FINAL4 title, do you have this title in mind?
Momir Ilic: Nobody can take away those memories, they are always in our heads as it is the dream of every player to win the VELUX EHF Champions League. And we have the chance to relive this dream in 2012, but first we have to qualify. If we reach Cologne, then we are going for the title.

TEXT: Björn Pazen