Swedish coach on bench of Montenegro, Per Johansson, was on fire last night when his team achieved eight-finals round at Women’s World Championship 2017 in Germany, after Montenegrian goalie Marina Rajcic saved the important shot to save a point against Brazil 22:22.
Handball-Planet.com correspondent Denis Geger spoke with him after the match…
You had just three weeks with the team. Now you reached the next round at the world cup. You see it as a success for the team?
I haven’t looked to the past of the team.. I just got a phone call and suddenly I was there. The team accept me and we have a good feeling in the team. I haven’t changed so much, I tried to put some Scandinavian element into the game. I believe into the defence of the team, I think that is the most important part in the team. In the last games we hate some problems in the defence, but today we came back to the level we have to play and in this level we will be dangerous for every one.
Did you think about the next games and opponents?
- No, we made a cut after the Japan game. Our goal for the tournament was to use the group stage as a preparation. Now we have the knock out stage and I think we are very satisfied to go here, than it was a brutal group.
How important was that Bulatovic and Radicevic came back into the team?
- I think the young players need this support. They are very good players and the mix with them and Klikovac or Raicevic and the young players like Brnovic or Jaukovic we have a good mix. There is some kind of generation change, but this players can still play on a very high level and are very important for us. I think Swedish- and Balkan mentality is totally different. Than you speak another language.
How do you work with this problems?
- After a few days with the team, we spoke about this. I am there for three weeks and we don’t talk about the past and also not about the future. I have just a contract for the tournament, maybe we will continue, but I don’t know. I am raised in Scandinavia, but I also worked a lot internationally. I am not full Scandinavian, maybe a half. The team has to learn my way, but there will still be a gap. The players have to help me and the older one make that perfectly. Sometimes they make things that I don’t understand and I also do things they don’t understand. But we came closer and closer to each other. The language is no problem, we do it English. A team meeting is in English and older players do a summary that it is sure that everyone understand. and I pick up more and more words in Montenegrian. But during a game, you haven’t to know a language perfectly. But I can say that I have just seen a few times a group with such a passion. It means so much for them to play for there country.
Are this mentality and fighting spirit good for the team or is it sometimes too much?
- I think this mentality is grown for many many years. I think its the only way for Montenegro to competing on this level. They have a brutal driving force in every training. Sometimes when we have defense training it’s like a street fight. I cant change this, that’s our style of the game – concluded Johansson.