"We must be careful," says DuvnjakArticle
«Go back

HSV's Croatian shooter not taking anything for granted, despite going into the Flensburg rematch with a six goal lead

»EHF CL Channel »2012-13 Men's News

"We must be careful," says Duvnjak

It would not be wrong to say that Domagoj Duvnjak is enjoying his best handball days.

Over the past few years, he has become a key player in the Croatian national team as well as HSV Hamburg.

Duvnjak is playing fast, effective and modern handball, changing defence into attack in a few seconds and scoring from various positions.

He speaks to ehfCL.com about HSV's season both at home and abroad and their chances in the VELUX EHF Champions League.

HSV have not had the best of seasons, but wins in a few important matches would make the season great.

“I think that we are a great team and that our performance is growing on a daily basis.

“I strongly believe in this team. I believe that we can reach Cologne and then of course, who knows. We've been there once and liked that spectacle very much.”

Their 32:26 win against Flensburg in the first leg of the quarter-finals, has left HSV in a strong position going into the game on Sunday, 28 April.

“I'm happy about such a great win but I am even happier for the game we showed. We knew how strong Flensburg is and that we had some hard moments playing against them.

We'll do everything not to miss the chance to qualify. Injuries stopped us from achieving any bigger success in the Bundesliga but I see the Champions League as an additional motive to get back and do something we weren't able to in Cologne two years ago. But before that, we are fully concentrated on the second match against Flensburg.”

HSV had an unpleasant experience against Flensburg recently, losing in German Cup semi-final.

“It was because we weren't careful. There are many great players in Flensburg like Eggert, Hansen, Mogensen and Knudsen to think that we'll win easily.

"They have played many important matches and we have no right to consider ourselves favourites. We have to be careful and shouldn't give such players a chance.”

The situation in the German Bundesliga is also very complicated, but Duvnjak remains positive.

“Our goal is to be third at the end of the season and we'll definitely do everything to reach this goal. It will be very hard, but I believe that we can do this.”

At a national team level, the situation looks to be better. Croatia was the only team to step on the podium on last three competitions (EC, OG and WC) and they certainly have shown quality throughout.

Duvnjak was one of the most important players on all these championships which made him the leader of Croatia's young team.

“I am really pleased with the way we played in all of these championships but I can't say I am not sad that at least one of these medals is not gold.

“However, I believe that we're working really well and that we should carry on this way.

“We were playing maybe the best handball on all these championships and only one bad day pushed us away from the final. But experience will come with time. I am not concerned about this team. It has great future ahead.''

How is Domagoj Duvnjak dealing with all these competitions and hard matches through the last few years?

“I am fine for the time being but I can't wait for the summer to relax my body. Last summer we had the Olympic Games in London and I had no time to relax so my season was prolonged. I hope I'll be able to make it. I am still young,'' concludes Duvnjak.

Duvnjak and HSV take on SG Flensburg-Handewitt in the ehfTV.com Match of the Week on Sunday, 28 April at 18:30 with live commentary from Tom O’Brannagáin.

TEXT: Bruno Pinevic / cor