Klein: The arena must burn and my ears must ringArticle
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INTERVIEW: THW Kiel left wing Dominik Klein hopes for a frenetic fan support in the Last 16 rematch against MOL-Pick Szeged on Wednesday.

Klein: The arena must burn and my ears must ring

The starting position could have been better, but Dominik Klein is still very confident that THW Kiel can turn the tide against MOL-Pick Szeged in the second leg of the VELUX EHF Champions League Last 16.

Kiel lost the first encounter in Hungary 29:33 after being ahead by two goals not long before the end.

For Klein, who will transfer to French side HBC Nantes after this season and after nine very successful years in Kiel, the support of the THW fans will be significant in order to make it to the quarter-finals. The winner of this pairing will face defending champions FC Barcelona Lassa.

ehfCL.com: Your team lost the first leg at Szeged by four goals - some say this means nothing, others believe that this distance could be dangerous. What is your opinion?

Dominik Klein: We all have experienced so many things in our handball careers. We all have previously recognised what is possible when you are in a good rhythm. So definitely, a four-goal gap increases the tension for the second leg extremely.

We did not play that bad at Szeged, but all of us, including me, lost our heads in the dying minutes and committed too many little mistakes, which were the reason for this defeat at the end.

But to be honest: This result should be a 100 percent boost and push for everybody, the players and the fans. The arena must burn on Wednesday due to this incredible sparkle of the match.

ehfCL.com: It seems the support of the stands will be enormously important?

Dominik Klein: Definitely! Even hours after the first leg my ears were ringing from the extraordinary noise the Szeged fans caused - and I hope exactly for this on Wednesday.

My ears must ring from the noise of our fans. We need this support from the very first until the very last second to have a chance to proceed. We need those extra-percent provided by the fans.

ehfCL.com: Is it a good omen that THW beat Szeged in the previous season after an away defeat clearly at home to proceed to Cologne - or have the teams changed too much?

Dominik Klein: I had to attend the match as a spectator, as I was suffering from my torn ligaments, but what I remember is that we stopped the flow of Szeged’s playmakers right from the start. Now we have the same mission, being tough enough in defence against their technically skilled playmakers.

ehfCL.com: Kiel never failed in any Last 16 stage of any international competition so far - is this statistical fact another motivation?

Dominik Klein: It is definitely not our aim to end this series on Wednesday. We all love these knockout matches, this is what playing Champions League is all about, the charm of do or die. We would even like to play more knockout games with this special thrill. Now, the race to catch-up is opened.

ehfCL.com: So you do not spare any thoughts about maybe having your last international match for THW Kiel after nine years including three EHF Champions League titles?

Dominik Klein: I do not have a thought like this, not for a single second. It is our aim to make it to Cologne. And in order to go that far we need to proceed from the Last 16.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / es, br