Jurecki happy history did not repeat itselfArticle
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INTERVIEW: Kielce stalwart speaks about his temporary change of position in Round 5 and the emphasis that has been put on simply getting victories on the board at this stage of the season

»EHF CL Channel »2014-15 Men's News

Jurecki happy history did not repeat itself

Sunday’s VELUX EHF Champions League game against Aalborg was a very important challenge for Polish champions Kielce.

Last season their first match after the October national team break turned out to be the start of a difficult period which saw the team knocked out of the competition at the Last 16 stage. This time the charges of Talant Dujshebaev face not only the tough Danes, but also their own injury worries.

Michał Jurecki had to play a slightly different role than usual last weekend and he speaks to ehfCL.com about it.

ehfCL.com: Plenty of shuffling must have been done to close the gaps in the squad with player injuries against Aalborg. Was it difficult to manage without two pivots? 

Michał Jurecki: It’s a pity that both Piotrek and Julen couldn’t have played. We had to mend the holes left by them; therefore some of us played more in defence, like me and Piotrek Chrapkowski.

We lacked also Ippe (Tobias Reichmann – ed.), but Ivan Cupić, with a little help of Lijek who replaced him on the wing in the end, dealt well on his own. After all, we have equal squad and we are able to play in different positions if necessary.

ehfCL.com: Did you prepare to play the line or was it your outburst of creativity?

Michał Jurecki: Zeljko, as the only line player, was disburdened in the defence, so that he could play the whole game in the attack. That is why during the fast breaks my role was to run on the line and do my best there. For me it’s not a problem.

ehfCL.com: Perhaps because it was not your first time on this position, was it?

Michał Jurecki: That’s right; I started as line player when I was a junior. Later, as I was getting taller and stronger, so they moved me to left back.

Now again, on the last training in Aalborg the coach asked me to play a bit on the line in order to get a feel for the position in case something went wrong.

ehfCL.com: Looking at recent games of Kielce, it seems that the team is not as eye-catching as last season. Would you agree with that?

Michał Jurecki: The most important thing is always two points. What’s the point of playing pretty if you lose the game in the end? Maybe we don’t play attractively, but successfully. As for now we’ve got a full set of victories.

ehfCL.com: Is a clean sheet an objective in itself or just a guarantor of leadership in the group?

Michał Jurecki: It’s always pleasant when you win constantly. It builds your self–confidence and straightens the atmosphere in the club. We and Veszprem are invincible so far and I’m very happy about it. But we still have to focus on each next rival. In sport anything is possible. You have to respect your opponent, no matter who it is.

ehfCL.com: Last November was a period when you lost everything in the Champions League. Did this topic return ahead of the match against Aalborg?

Michał Jurecki: Yes, it returned to us in the changing room. Last year in the same period something went wrong. This time we did our best to ensure that history didn’t repeat itself.

ehfCL.com: But your advantage in the final score is still decreasing. Against Kadetten it was 5 goals, against Dunkerque yet 3 and now only 2. Is that something to worry about?

Michał Jurecki: Oh, I don’t think so. The most important thing is that we’re still on a winning streak. The away match against Dunkerque was very difficult. Last season we lost there, so it had a psychological undertow for us. Against Aalborg it was really calm on our part, much calmer than in the match against Kadetten. Even though our advantage ebbed and flowed, we still controlled the score.

ehfCL.com: You decided to extend your contract until 2019. Did you hesitate before tying yourself with one club for such a long time?

Michał Jurecki: I wasn’t deliberating too long. I’m very happy that the club came up with such a proposition. I feel great in Kielce and my daughter has just started primary school here. Vive’s got serious goals in the Champions League. I still want to win a lot with this team.

TEXT: Magda Pluszewska / cor