'Small things will decide the result,' says KarlssonArticle
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Flensburg's defensive rock speaks to ehfCL.com ahead of the all-German quarter-final

'Small things will decide the result,' says Karlsson

Originally a back court player, forced to turn line player after a shoulder injury, but today Tobias Karlsson is one of the strongest defensive players in handball. The 31-year-old has played with SG Flensburg-Handewitt since 2009 and has become the team captain.

Before the quarter-finals of the VELUX EHF Champions League, ehfCL.com speak with the Swedish international.

ehfCL.com: Last weekend was a busy couple of days with the final rounds of the German cup. Your team reached the final and lost after a strong first half against THW Kiel. What influence will this result have on the rest of the season?

Tobias Karlsson: Mentally it was a tough defeat. But in our plans we will do everything to ensure that it has no impact on the next weeks.

The victory on Wednesday against Hannover-Burgdorf was already a step in the right direction. You can always learn from defeats. We talked about it, now the German Cup is history. It goes on. If you want to succeed in sports, you must look forward.

ehfCL.com: The team returned in Flensburg on Sunday evening after the game and visited a small party by the fans. Was there a good atmosphere in the team?

Tobias Karlsson: Absolutely, totally. It's amazing what our fans have done this season so far in the Flensburg arena, in Hamburg and also that evening. They demonstrated the fact that they are also behind us in bad moments. That helps a team to come out of a difficult situation.

ehfCL.com: What are the targets for the rest of this season?

Tobias Karlsson: What else can we say when we now stand before the two games against HSV Hamburg?

We want to win and reach the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne for the first time. We also want to qualify for the competition again through the German league.

ehfCL.com: Have you ever been to Cologne?

Tobias Karlsson: In the city, yes, and even with the SG for a game with VfL Gummersbach. But this won´t be comparable with the FINAL4. I think about the huge crowd, for example.

ehfCL.com: Is it an advantage that you have most recently won the semi-final of the German Cup against Hamburg?

Tobias Karlsson: I don´t think so. We must deal with two incredibly close games - and in the end small things will decide the result.

ehfCL.com: The latest results against Hamburg were 23:23 in the German league and 26:25 after extra-time minutes in the German cup. These are in both cases, game with few goals, which must be nice for a defensive specialist.

Tobias Karlsson: Of course, if we concede few goals, the defence and the goalkeeper will be happy. However, it is more important that we win, I also would be happy with a 42:40 victory.

TEXT: Jan Kirschner / cor