ehfCL.com talks to Roxana Han before the first home game of Oltchim Vâlcea in the EHF Women´s Champions League.
"We are ready to face our opponents"
Oltchim Râmnicu Vâlcea surprisingly lost its debut game against Danish Randers HK in the EHF Women´s Champions League. Now the Romanian finalist from last year is under big pressure and needs a home victory against French counterpart Toulon. ehfCL.com talks to middle-back Roxana Han, the best player on the court last Saturday, having scored 8 goals.
ehfCL.com: Oltchim was surprisingly defeated in Denmark by Randers HK. What did the team do wrong in the first match?
Roxana Han: The team had a really bad day. We were totally outplayed in defence and made big mistakes during the attacks. It's difficult to lose like this, sensing we were unable to give our best on court. It was a hard fought victory for Randers, they made us regret each and every mistake, but I'm certain we have the strength to overcome this moment.
ehfCL.com: What was the main cause of the first defeat this year?
Roxana Han: Many factors have to be taken into account when analyzing a defeat. If I were to pick one, I would say that some of the girls were a little tired after winning the World Cup in Denmark. Still, I don't believe that was the most important aspect, but rather our own unfortunate in-game decisions which eventually ruined the entire flow of our game.
ehfCL.com: French team Toulon is a newcomer on the Champions League stage. Will this be an easy game for Oltchim or are all teams up for a fight?
Roxana Han: We were also touted to be favourites against Randers and you saw what happened in Denmark. From my point of view, the EHF Champions League is not the place where you would find weak teams. France is one of the best nations in handball at this moment, and therefore Toulon, the French champion, cannot be underestimated by any means. We are now focusing all our attention on that match, but we have nothing special prepared for them. Our "special something" will be giving 100% on court.
ehfCL.com: Has the team managed to get over the first loss of this season?
Roxana Han: We have no choice but to take the positive parts of this loss, learn from it and carry on. It's imperative for us to find our balance both mentally and physically. Oltchim's immediate goal is to qualify for the next stage and, even though we started off on the wrong foot, our confidence in ourselves and each other is still high. We are ready to face our opponents.
ehfCL.com: Oltchim has a new coach for this season. Do you find adapting to Péter Kovács' style difficult?
Roxana Han: Although our European season debut was a bit of a surprise to everyone, it isn't a reflection of our relationship with our coaching staff. Our relationship is based on mutual respect and I’m positive that our joint effort will help Oltchim develop into the best team in this competition.
TEXT: Adrian Costeiu