Let our performance speak for us, Fazekas saysArticle
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FEATURE: Veteran Veszprem goalkeeper believes his team needs to build confidence based on their performance not the scoreline of the first leg against PSG.

Let our performance speak for us, Fazekas says

MKB-MVM Veszprém won the first leg of their VELUX EHF Champions League quarter-final in Paris but Nándor Fazekas claims the first half result is of no importance in such a prestigous duel. The Hungarian goalkeeper spoke to ehfcl.com about the forthcoming second leg.

A flying start is never enough

Nándor Fazekas put up a great performance in the second half the veteran goalie made some excellent saves – including the one EHF chose as Save of the week – to help Veszprém gain a 28:26 victory over PSG.

"We got off to a great start, the first 15 minutes was almost perfect but PSG reacted well in the second part of the first half. Handball has become so fast and intensive that everything can turn upside down in the matter of minutes. We were precise and tough in defence, kept hold of the ball in attack and were in firm controll of the game but then came a short blackout and our lead was gone as if it never existed.”

Fazekas came in for the second half when Veszprém were trailing PSG but the goalie felt the game belonged to the visitors.

"With Veszprém it’s all about the defence. When our wall is solid, we are ok so we needed to tighten our defense to get back to business. We kept our nerves and deservedly won the match.”

Who cares about half-time results?

"We built the foundations on solid ground, an away win is always a comforting thing even more when you are up against a team of such class. But everybody needs to understand that we are only at half-time and can’t afford to think we are already through.”

Fazekas claimed a two-goal margin is a "blink and it’s gone” kind of advantage and believes his team need to build confidence based on their performance not the scoreline.

"The pressure is mounting on us. Everybody expects us to go through. It’s hard to make people understand that an away win doesn’t mean anything if you are not fit enough to finish the job at home.”

Teamwork above all

Veszprém will be backed by the usual sell-out crowd at the Veszprém Arena and Fazekas claims it is almost impossible to hold back expectations.

"We have come extremely close so many times that the general feeling about the return leg against PSG is that we can’t let this one slip out of our hands. But to get to Cologne a team needs to be prepared both physically and mentally, united and aware. Whether we have all it takes will be judged by a noble opponent, PSG.”

Fazekas claims they felt superior in Paris and admits losing would have been a disappointment. „We know how strong PSG is but we felt Veszprém were better. We have been playing together for a while now and we usually put more emphasis on teamwork than individual skills.”

So are Veszprém going to make the last step this year?

"Whatever I say those will only be words. I’d much rather let our performances speak for us. And say yes.”

TEXT: Bence Martha / br