|17.01.2010, 15:00||◄ last page|
Although Viborg HK won their group, but head coach Jakob Vestergaard believes his team will do even better.
Vestergaard: We can still improve!
Even though reigning Women’s Champions League winners Viborg HK have qualified for the main round from the first place in their preliminary group just like last year, the Danes´ head coach Jakob Vestergaard still does not think that we have seen the best from his team.
Eurohandball.com has asked Vestergaard to evaluate his team’s performance in the group stage and to look a bit ahead.
Eurohandball.com: Now that the group stage is over, what do you think of your team’s performance so far?
Jakob Vestergaard: Of course, I am content that we have advanced in the tournament and that as a clear group winner. We knew that this would give a fairly easier group in the Main Round, and therefore first place was our goal from the very beginning. Already before Christmas I was happy with our performance, even though we lost three points in those matches. We had had some problems due to injuries, which we had to solve. The fact that we decided it all in the first match of the new year was simply impressive.
Eurohandball.com: You also won your group last year. Considering the number of players you have been missing, especially in the first matches this season, would you say that the achievement is even superior this year?
Jakob Vestergaard: Yes, you might say it is. When we started our current Champions League campaign, Bojana Popovic had just returned from injury, while Johanna Ahlm had only joined us recently. Furthermore, we were missing other players. I believe the fact that we managed to start the tournament with an away win against Byåsen gave us the faith and the confidence that brought us through.
Eurohandball.com: Can your team get even better before the season is over?
Jakob Vestergaard. Yes, we are not yet at the level where we should be. Actually, we can improve in all aspects of the game, but all our players realise this and are really committed and dedicated to train hard in order to put some extra layers on our game in the defence as well as in the fast-breaks and in running home after attacks.
Eurohandball.com: Can Viborg go all the way once again?
Jakob Vestergaard: I really hope we can. I expect the main round to be really close. I see seven or eight teams who can go all the way, but then again I absolutely see us among those teams.
Eurohandball.com: You have said several times that you see the Champions League as more equal than ever before. Do you also see it as stronger?
Jakob Vestergaard: Yes; I would say that it is considerably stronger. Many teams have improved, and for instance, when I look at the teams who finished third in their respective groups, they are all very strong teams. They could have competed much further in the Champions League, if they had got the chance. Last year we could pick out a couple of teams we would have liked to meet in the main round. It is not like that this year at all, where all eight teams in the main round are absolute top teams.
TEXT: Peter Bruun