Wiede: “I truly believe in our chances”Article
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INTERVIEW: Füchse Berlin right back Fabian Wiede is confident that his side can turn the eight-goal deficit from the first-leg quarter-final against Nexe into a ticket to the Ottostadt EHF Cup Finals
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Wiede: “I truly believe in our chances”

He won the EHF Cup trophy on home ground in 2015 and was a finalist in the 2017 edition when his side lost against Frisch Auf Göppingen. Altogether, Fabian Wiede has been part of three EHF Cup Finals with Füchse Berlin.

But now the path to the Ottostadt EHF Cup Finals in Magdeburg (19/20 May) looks quite steep for Wiede and his teammates. Füchse lost the first leg of the quarter-final 20:28 at RK Nexe in the Croatian town of Nasice, and must now hope for a sensational comeback similar to their success in the VELUX EHF Champions League 2011/12 Quarter-final.

With the help of their home fans, 24-year-old EHF EURO 2016 champion and Olympic bronze medallist Wiede is confident that Berlin can turn the tide in the rematch on Saturday.

eurohandball.com: What went wrong for Füchse in the first quarter-final in Nasice?

Fabian Wiede: We missed too many chances, which was the core of the problem. Besides that, we had problems with their seventh court player and their line player in our defence.

eurohandball.com: How does the fact that Füchse have to replace so many injured players at the moment affect your matches?

Fabian Wiede: Indeed, it is a problem and it makes things different when you have to cope with a continually increasing number of injured players. We lack variety to create what we want to do. Therefore, it is easier for our opponents to adapt and cope with the way we play.

eurohandball.com: Having the 20:28 away defeat in mind, how do you rate the chances of making it to the Ottostadt EHF Cup Finals in Magdeburg?

Fabian Wiede: We all know that we were on a ‘high flyer’ in our home matches in the previous weeks. For example, we beat EHF Cup champions Frisch Auf Göppingen by a 15-goal difference. I truly believe in our chance to catch up with Nexe. But to make that a reality, everything must fit perfectly. We will try our best of course.

eurohandball.com: When you are behind by eight goals from the start, will the tactics be ‘put the pedal to the metal from the first second’ or do you approach the game as usual?

Fabian Wiede: We have not thought about the tactics yet. We will analyse the first leg, then focus on details, then make our match plan. But to be honest: We do not want to blow too much, as we are out for some surprises on Saturday.

eurohandball.com: What role will the Füchse fans play in the second-leg quarter-final?

Fabian Wiede: We hope for a fully packed arena and to get an extra kick from our fans. Both sides can push each other to the limit.

eurohandball.com: You were part of the Füchse team that caused one of the biggest VELUX EHF Champions League sensations ever, by turning an 11-goal deficit from the first-leg quarter-final against Leon into a ticket to the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in 2012. Did you watch this match again as extra motivation for the rematch against Nexe?

Fabian Wiede: We watched this motivational video and of course everybody remembers this match against Leon. But we do not need any extra motivation for Saturday – we know the significance of the match, how important it will be and what we have to give.

eurohandball.com: Will Füchse be able to relive the spirit of the Leon match?

Fabian Wiede: We understand this comparison, but now we have RK Nexe ahead and we do not want to talk about the “spirit of the Leon match”. It is all about emotions and attitude to make it to the final tournament again.

eurohandball.com: In general, what’s your opinion of Berlin’s international season so far?

Fabian Wiede: We won all matches except our group phase opener against Saint-Raphael, so we can be truly satisfied. The away match at Saint-Raphael was phenomenal – and we had hoped to play like this in Nasice, then we were taught a tough lesson. Now we have to be on 100 per cent, that’s for sure.

eurohandball.com: How important are those international matches for you and Füchse Berlin?

Fabian Wiede: They are extremely important, as we all want to be on the international stage. From the financial perspective, it is important for the club too, and for the fans it is a great impetus to see international teams in Berlin.

eurohandball.com: Is there a priority for Füchse between the race for the German Bundesliga title and the ticket to the EHF Cup Finals?

Fabian Wiede: There is no certain priority list. We intensely prepare for all our matches regardless of the competition. Maybe the importance of the EHF Cup Finals is a little higher, as in this competition, we still have our fate in our own hands.

eurohandball.com: You have been part of three EHF Cup Finals, including the 2015 edition, when you took the trophy on home ground. What makes those events so special?

Fabian Wiede: Mainly it is the atmosphere, as fans from different countries and regions create this special scene. It is always great to enter the court to see the block of your fans and feel this special atmosphere. From a sporting perspective, those events are something special, as every team can beat any team and you have only fully equal matches. Therefore, those tournaments are special and exciting.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / cg