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25.02.2011, 10:10◄ last page     

Before the big clash with Ciudad Real, Zagreb's new coach Ivica Obrvan talks about the suboptimal form of his team.

Obrvan: “Every player should play in both directions“

In his VELUX EHF Men's Champions League debut on the Zagreb Croatia osiguranje bench, Ivica Obrvan led his team to a four goal victory over Constanta. The new Zagreb coach talked to ehfCL.com about his handball philosophy, the situation in his team and the following match against Renovalia Ciudad Real.

ehfCL.com: How do you look back on the four-goal victory over HCM Constanta in the previous round?

Ivica Obrvan: I saw a lot of things in this match, both good and bad. We deliberately played without many changes between defence and offence. In the game I had to recognize that some of my players were not in an optimal physical condition.

But what makes me even angrier is the fact that we received a lot of goals when we were having enough time to set up our defence. So our defence was not strong enough or maybe not concentrated enough. Still I have to say that all in all I am satisfied because we won.

ehfCL.com: Are your players exhausted because of the vast amount of matches played in the Croatian league, the Croatian cup and at the recent World Championship?

Ivica Obrvan: The mental and the physical condition of the players is improving. I expect their full contribution in the upcoming matches in the VELUX EHF Men’s Champions League. My primary goal is to improve Valčić's performance as he is our team’s engine. Unfortunately his condition is not yet at the level it used to be in the beginning of the season.

ehfCL.com: On Sunday you will meet the strong Spanish team Renovalia Ciudad Real. Which are the most important game play elements that should be improved?

Ivica Obrvan: I hope that the form of our goalkeepers can improve because I expect that we will need them. As in every match, defence is the key factor for winning. My handball philosophy is that the players of a team should not be divided into two groups, the ones who only play in defence and the ones who only play in attack.

ehfCL.com: Which players does that effect?

Ivica Obrvan: This concerns Ivano Balić, too. In fact he has insisted on playing in both directions in order to fit into the team in a better way. His age might be a slight problem, but Ivano is an extremely intelligent player, and he will surely be able to compensate that.

The battle of Group D between last year's EHF FINAL4 participant Renovalia Ciudad Real and and their Croatian rivals will be broadcast as a free-of-charge live web stream on ehfTV.com.

VELUX EHF Men’s Champions League, Group Phase, Round 9
Sunday, 27 February 2011, 19:00 hrs (local time)
Renovalia Ciudad Real (ESP) vs. HC Croatia Osiguranje Zagreb (CRO)

ehfTV.com is the official Internet TV platform of the European Handball Federation and offers free live streaming as well as a video on demand service.

TEXT: Ivan Ambroš

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