|19.03.2010, 16:40||◄ last page|
Leipzig coach Jensen talks before their last match in Györ.
"We have to become cleverer"
Five matches, five defeats. Some close, some clear. That is the intermediate balance of German champions HC Leipzig in the Main Round of the Women’s Champions League. Before the last match in Györ eurohandball.com talked to HCL’s Danish coach Heine Jensen.
eurohandball.com: What lessons did you learn in the Main Round?
Heine Jensen: It was a great success to reach the Main Round for the first time ever. We can be proud on this. We were close to a victory in some matches, but to be honest: in the decisive stages of all matches we lacked a lot of important things.
eurohandball.com: The defence mostly worked well, were your attacks the problem?
Heine Jensen: Yes and no. In the big picture we played better in defence than in offense, that is correct. We had a lot of chances to score and missed too many of them. Then again I wouldn’t be able to feel well if we wouldn’t have had these chances. Because that would imply that we played really bad. Unfortunately our opponents had strong goalkeepers, so our scoring percentage wasn’t good enough for this high level.
eurohandball.com: What are your conclusions after this season’s performance?
Heine Jensen: Mistakes are punished even harder on an international level than in the Bundesliga. And we have to become cleverer and much more experienced. We plan to analyze the Champions League intensively after the season. Then we can find out what made the difference to our opponents. One difference is fact: teams like Viborg or Larvik have an average age of 27 or 28, ours is 24. So we lack experience, but if we continue with our current team, we have the chance to close this gap in future.
eurohandball.com: Leipzig have played against three of the four current semi-finalists – Viborg, Larvik and Györ. What team will win the title?
Heine Jensen: Both semi-finals will be very open and balanced. Viborg has the disadvantage of injuries and pregnancies, especially on the pivot position. The individual day form of players like Popovic, Rantala or Neagu will decide about the finalists and the winner.
eurohandball.com: Next weekend you play in Györ. What’s your objective in this final match for HCL in this season?
Heine Jensen: Our objective is to play good and to annoy Györ as long as possible. If we can keep the score close for a very long time, everything is possible. But for me and my teams it’ll be joyful, no matter the result: a great atmosphere, a great amount of spectators in a large Arena – we’ll for sure enjoy this match.
eurohandball.com: Back to Leipzig: are you favourites for the title in Germany again?
Heine Jensen: Yes, we’re the favourites, but it won’t be easy to become German champion again. We have respect for all of our opponents. In contrast to a team like Larvik, which has only two narrow matches each season, we have to fight hard for every point, as the Bundesliga has a lot of equally strong teams. But playing in the Champions League is a great motivation for us. So we will have to be aware in the Bundesliga play-offs to qualify for next year’s king’s class.
TEXT: Björn Pazen