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30.11.2010, 20:26◄ last page     

Celje will never give up while they still have a chance to qualify.

Expectations highest in Slovenia

It seemed like it would be a disastrous season for Slovenian champion, Celje Pivovarna Laško, before it defeated Chambery on home ground by eight goals in Group A.

Team captain Uroš Zorman talks about the reasons for the poor first part to the season, and says that the Celje team will not give up as long as there’s still hope of reaching the Last 16.

ehf-euro.com: Before gaining the second win in the VELUX EHF Champions League last weekend, it didn’t look good for Celje Pivovarna Laško…

Uroš Zorman: I wasn’t afraid at all. I know that we have a great team, but that it hadn’t taken advantage of its individual qualities.

Maybe the public, press, and those people who are not employed at the club were scared, but we were not.

ehf-euro.com: So, you’re saying there was no pressure?

Uroš Zorman: No, I’m saying we believed in ourselves, some players more so than others, which is understandable. It’s difficult to be self-confident after losing four matches in a row in the VELUX EHF Champions League and also three matches in the Slovenian Championship. Expectations in Celje are always very high.

ehf-euro.com: But in all clubs around Europe, expectations are high…

Uroš Zorman: It’s not comparable. When I was in Ciudad Real there was no such pressure. High ambition, yes, but it wasn’t disaster if we lost a match.

In Slovenia it’s completely different – everyone expects Celje to be the best, to have the best team, and not to make mistakes. Just one defeat in a season is a catastrophe for the handball experts and audience.

ehf-euro.com: You defeated Kielce and Chambery, and on Saturday, Rhein-Neckar Löwen are waiting for you. When you met in Zlatorog, you couldn’t cope with them (28:32), what is needed now for a victory?

Uroš Zorman: The situation was different. Now we are rotating more players in the match, so it’s easier for individuals. We are improving our play and having better and better realization.

I’m sure that on Saturday in Mannheim we’ll perform much better than in Zlatorog against Löwen. I think the group is completely open, anything can happen. Teams are so equal and there are still four matches to go. Everyone is still hoping for the Last 16.

ehf-euro.com: You are playing superbly this season. Is this the season of your life?

Uroš Zorman: It may be. I don’t think I’ve ever been so physically and psychologically prepared. In the last few years I’ve matured as a player, and learnt a lot. I think I’m in my very best career years.

Also, my colleagues trust me when organizing the plays, and that’s most important for me. 

ehf-euro.com: What about your injury?

Uroš Zorman: I still have problems, as it’s not ok yet. I have to be a bit careful but this is not the appropriate time to moan as the Celje team needs all its players to get out of this complicated situation.

When the autumn battle is finished, there’ll be time for rehabilitation.

TEXT: Maja Mastnak

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