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04.01.2010, 17:30◄ last page     

Before the CL games against Viborg HK and HC Leipzig, Byåsen head coach Geir Oustorp is optimistic on behalf of his girls.

Byåsen look forward to tough challenges

The conditions are clear for Norway’s second best female handball team, Byåsen HE. They will need two points in their two remaining matches in the Champions League group stage in order to proceed to the main round from Group A – and they have two away matches to get them: This coming Saturday against Viborg HK, or next weekend in Germany against HC Leipzig. However, in spite of the tough odds, head coach Geir Oustorp is optimistic on behalf of his girls.

Eurohandball.com: How is the situation in Byåsen before the deciding group matches?

Geir Oustorp: The situation is very positive – all players are well and free of injury. We lost the Norwegian Cup final between Christmas and New Year clearly 33-22 to Larvik. In that match we were simply not good enough. Now, however, we are looking forward to the last two group matches in the Champions League. We need two points that can be collected either in Viborg or in Leipzig. Personally, I think it will be a bit easier to take them in Leipzig than in Viborg.

Eurohandball.com: Before the start of the group phase, you said that you expected Viborg to rush through the group without losing a point. Now the fact is that they have lost three points, and that nothing is decided in Group A yet. Are you surprised by Viborg’s performance so far, or do you see it as a result of their problems with injury and pregnancy?

Geir Oustorp: It is correct that I expected Viborg to take the first place and leave the rest of us to fight for the second place. It is also correct that Viborg have had their problems with injured and pregnant players, and this has meant that all teams can win the group now – and theoretically we can still be fourth and be left with nothing.

Eurohandball.com: So how do you see your chances in the upcoming game in Viborg?

Geir Oustorp: It is going to be tough, no doubt about that. Viborg are beginning to get their injured players fit again, and I am still sure that they are heading for first place in the group. However, we are looking very much forward to visiting Viborg and play against the reigning Champions League winners.

Eurohandball.com: You lost by six goals against them at home. How much does that result mean before the match Saturday?

Geir Oustorp: Very little as we learned a lot from the exactly that match. In particular we learned to add more pace to our game. In general, I think we have improved a lot since that match Of course, Viborg are favourites.

Eurohandball.com: If you lose in Viborg, you will have to win a thriller in Leipzig on the last match day. What are your thoughts about that situation?

Geir Oustorp: As I said earlier, we probably have a better chance in Leipzig than in Viborg, but we will deal with that situation, if it occurs. Right now we concentrate on the match in Viborg, which we are really looking forward to.

TEXT: Peter Bruun

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