FC Barcelona need Palau to roarArticle
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After a disappointing result last weekend, Spanish title holders prepare to take revenge this weekend in the second leg of the VELUX EHF Champions League Quarter-final matches.

FC Barcelona need Palau to roar

Following a loss in their first leg match of the VELUX EHF Champions League Quarter-final, FC Barcelona Intersport are focusing on building their confidence for the second round next Saturday.

ehfCL.com spoke to Viran Morros de Argila ahead of the upcoming match to find out how the “Barça” players feel about their chances of making up the five-goal difference.

ehfCL.com: When you have been so successful in a season (only one loss before last Saturday), does it hurt to lose a second match, especially considering the circumstances?

Viran Morros: It is not just because it is the second defeat of the season that it hurts. It hurts because it may mean we won’t reach the VELUX EHF FINAL4, which has been one of our main goals all season. It hurts because it was a very important match and because we have conceded too many goals to BM Atlético Madrid ahead of next Saturday.

ehfCL.com: Looking back now, what went wrong?

Viran Morros: They simply played better: they were more intense than us, more accurate shooters and better defenders. Jota (José Javier Hombrados) was impressive. I think they were just better than us in many aspects of the game. Now we have a second match at home where we cannot concede this kind of defeat, and if we play as we have for the entire season, we will have the chance to make it through.

ehfCL.com: What went through your mind late in the second half?

Viran Morros: The truth is during a match you cannot think about what’s happening. You just have to keep on trying, again and again, with the goal of making things better. The problem is we just could not see what we were doing wrong, so our errors went uncorrected. During a game your heart is racing, and sometimes in that situation you need to stop for a second and think twice about what’s happening. Unfortunately, we didn’t do this and the consequence was an awful match from our side.

ehfCL.com: You are now five goals behind Madrid and have only scored 20 goals altogether. How hard will it be to make up that difference?

Viran Morros: It will be very difficult as they have many expert players who have experience with these situations, such as Ivano (Balić), Jonas (Källman), Cañellas (Joan Cañellas Reixach) and Hombrados, who by the way played a fantastic match last weekend. In any case next Saturday we will have a second opportunity, but it will not be easy. Recovering the five goals Madrid leads us by will be a very complex task, but we will just have to commit ourselves from the first minute of the game.

ehfCL.com: After the match last Saturday, Albert (Rocas Comas) was talking about the “magic moments” that Palau Blaugrana often grants Barcelona’s team. Xavi Pasqual Fuertes asked the fans to turn it into a “Greek court”. Do you agree with that?

Viran Morros: Absolutely. We have discussed this within the team and agree that Palau must roar, must be our eighth player and must support us if the team is feeling down. I really hope it will be crowded – we need the support of our home crowd.

ehfCL.com: Madrid now have the upper hand. For the first time, Barcelona are in a very tough situation. Do you have any secrets planned to overcome this?

Viran Morros: Yes, there are many things we are working on, but I am not telling you (laughing). In all seriousness, everybody here is convinced we need to maintain a six-goal lead, as Atlético are capable of scoring three or four goals in quick succession given their expertise with fast breaks. I played there when it was BM Ciudad Real and our focus was on strong defence and fantastic fast breaks.

The main areas we need to focus on next Saturday are maintaining very strong defence, helping our keepers make more saves, not conceding second chances during their attack and minimising the number of turnovers, something we failed to do the other day.

ehfCL.com: What positive message would you like to send to your fans?

Viran Morros: This is FC Barcelona. We are a great team and a greater club. This is one of the matches we love to play – one of the matches that can make us even bigger. We desperately need our fans to help us complete this job.

ehfCL.com: Do you have any comments about being among the nominees for the VELUX EHF Champions League All-star Team in the Best Defender category?

Viran Morros: I always feel very proud when I am nominated for any kind of award, as it means your work is recognised and somehow rewarded. The names of the other players in my category make the nomination even more significant for me. In any case I have always thought that in this category, the team as a whole should be considered. My personal work while defending always shines more thanks to the rest of the players, so I owe this to them.

Further information
Follow the match live and free of charge on ehfTV.com on Saturday at 19:00 hrs local time

TEXT: Francisco Miranda / cg