FTC victory gives confidence boostArticle
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Victory over Dinamo has given FTC a big confidence boost, says coach Gábor Elek

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FTC victory gives confidence boost

FTC sprang the biggest surprise of the first round of the Women's EHF Champions League when they beat hosts Dinamo by 16 goals. Their coach Gábor Elek spoke to ehfCL.com afterwards, and said the victory will give his team confidence - but now they are only focused on Sunday's match against one of the world's best teams, Larvik.
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ehfCL.com: Did you expect that you would lead by ten goals after just a few minutes against Volgograd?
Gábor Elek: Not at all. We started the match with a good aggressive defence. Though we made some small mistakes, Abramovich did well in goal to save us. Volgograd started the game with massive power play, but this enthusiasm only lasted about three minutes and afterwards they looked quite unmotivated. But I have to say we need to keep our feet firmly on the ground, as we haven’t suddenly become the favourites for the Champions League! However we have showed we deserve to be here and everyone has to think about us as a serious threat.

ehfCL.com: Do you think your team will show this attitude in the other matches?
Gábor Elek: Yes. I would be very dissapointed if we didn’t fight like this in future. It was also a feature of our play in the Cup Winners‘ Cup in the last two years. Now we are higher up, so I am sure this attitude will grow too. We only ever play handball with this great mentality.

ehfCL.com: Has this huge winning margin against Volgograd given your team confidence ahead of Sunday's match against Larvik?
Elek: We will see - each match is a different one. The match against Volgograd gave us confidence, and gave us faith that we really deserve our place in the EHF Champions League. But if we get wrapnerea_pena-250pxped up in how well we beat the Russians by 16 goals, we might well get a shock against Larvik on Sunday. We are hosting one of the best teams of the world and I am curious to see where we fit in against them.

ehfCL.com: What are your expectations for this season’s Women’s EHF Champions League?
Gábor Elek: I guess it will all be about our injured players. Our Spanish player Nerea Pena is getting much better form, but Szanda Zácsik's case is still a big question. If she comes back to play strongly, we can achieve great things.

ehfCL.com: How is her treatment going?
Gábor Elek: We know that her shoulder has to be operated on sooner or later, but that decision is down to her. It is a very serious question because another operation might mean the end of her career. I have never seen a player on the court who has two operations on the same shoulder.

ehfCL.com: How could you describe Nerea Pena's current condition?
Gábor Elek: She is still not in her best form. I have tried to leave her on the court as long as possible at the second qualification match against the Slovakian side Michalovce. So she became extremely tired. Her condition is very weak right now, but I guess it is not a surprise after a long rehabilitation like this. I guess it was a very good idea to sign a contract with her. She is a very good and clever player, and besides that she is an extremely cute and funny girl!

TEXT: Ildikó Balogh (handball.hu)