|23.03.2010, 13:00||◄ last page|
Larvik coach Bøhn is cautious before the semi-finals against Viborg.
Bøhn: Viborg are favourites!
Not only are Norwegian champions Larvik HK in the semi-finals of the Women´s Champions League for the third time in the history of the club. They have also managed to qualify after having won their main round group as well as the preliminary group.
Still, Larvik´ s head coach Karl Erik Bøhn does not hesitate to name ruling champions Viborg HK the best team in the tournament. Eurohandball.com has talked to Bøhm about his team´s performances and the coming semi-finals against no other than Viborg.
Eurohandball.com: Looking back on your Champions League campaign this far, how do you see your team´s efforts?
Karl Erik Bøhn: I am very content, of course. Actually, we have done a bit better than expected. I feared we might be more vulnerable and not have enough players to hold out the entire Champions League campaign. But so far we coped well. We were very solid in defence and good at attack. When we depended on scoring many goals, like against Krim in the main round for instance, we were able to do that.
Eurohandball.com: How do you explain your team´s excellent performance in the Champions League this season?
Karl Erik Bøhn: The previous years our international players were tired after national team duties, but this time our internationals were not so tired when returned from the World Championship. They managed to stay at the top longer than in the previous seasons. Furthermore, we have got a new arena in Larvik has meant a lot too. That has given us a lot of new opportunities, and the support we get there, has made us almost unbeatable on home ground!
Eurohandball.com: Viborg coach Jakob Vestergaard said that your success is down to the fact that you are playing more as a unit this season. Do you agree?
Karl Erik Bøhn: No, not really. I think we were playing as a unit all the time – this season we were just better at things we can do. I'm impressed how fast Linn Jørum Sulland integrated into our team as the successor of Linn Kristin Riegelhuth. I was really worried after losing Riegelhuth who was seven years with us. But I must say that Sulland adjusted to our team in a hurry and you almost cannot notice anymore that Riegelhuth left us.
Eurohandball.com: How do you see the semi-finals against Viborg?
Karl Erik Bøhn: Viborg have the best team in the Champions League – there is no doubt about that. However, we were number one in our group, while they finished second in theirs, so of course we have a chance. Our matches against Viborg are almost always good matches, and we always feel welcome in Viborg, so obviously we are looking very much forward to those games.
Eurohandball.com: You are going to finish the semi-final tie at home. What will that mean?
Karl Erik Bøhn: Actually I do not think it will mean a lot. If we were going to meet Valcea or Győr, it might have been deciding, considering how difficult it is to play away in those places – but against Viborg, another Scandinavian team, I do not think that it mean much.
Eurohandball.com: You will have Tonje Larsen back from injury for the semi-finals. What will that mean to your team and to your chances?
Karl Erik Bøhn: Well, if we would have to play without Tonje against Viborg, we would not stand a chance at all! With her in the team, we have not lost in advance, at least! She is our most valuable player, not least to our defence!
TEXT: Peter Bruun