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Austrian No.1, Nikola Marinović: “Serbia and Russia are favourites – “We fell after Dagur left us”

Experienced Austrian NT goalkeeper, Nikola Marinović talked for Balkan-Handball.com about chances of his team in the Qualifications for EHF EURO 2014 in Denmark. Austria will meet Bosnia and Herzegovina in Round 1 in Linz. In this Group are also Serbia and Russia:

– We are going in new qualification circle with some younger players, but we managed to keep experienced structure of the team. We haven’t lucky draw, two best teams from Pot 3 and Pot 4, European vice-champion Serbia is with us as well, but we will fight. Serbia and Russia are the favorites, but everything is changeable until the end of the week. It will be very interesting. Russia has a new coach and his good start in Play Off for WCh 2013, Serbs will play without captain Momir Ilić, Bosnians show great potential against Germany last June and we also provide a good resistance to Macedonians.

What do you expect from the first match against BiH in Linz?

– I expect to win. It won’t be easy, they are bigger names on the paper, but our advantages are teamwork and domestic fans. If we want to play in Demark, we have to beat all the teams at home.

Rivals think that the biggest chance to take points abroad is in Austria…

– It is easier to play here than in Sarajevo or Niš, but this isn’t a play-off, you have to play six matches…

You had a “golden period” with Dagur Sigurdsson on the bench. Good result at EHF EURO 2010, quality performances and placement at WCh 2011, but then, Icelandic coach has to left Austrian team and you dropped again to average team…

– It is true that Austrian team fell down after Dagur left us. We have qualified for WCh 2011 in Sweden and then came Magnus Andersson. We took point in Germany and beat Iceland at the start of EHF EURO 2012 qualification, but that was also a product of Dagur’s system and work. Then we changed Icelandic way of working for more relaxed, Swedish. We didn’t have success with him. That you could see in Sweden and on the end of EHF EURO 2012 qualifications. It is simple, Dagur had everything under control, as you can see in Fuchse Berlin now, while Andersson was “soft”, too quiet and inconspicuous near the line of playing court. That doesn’t suit to Austrian mentality – said Marinović, goalkeeper of the DKB Bundesliga HIT, HSG Wetzlar.


 

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