EURO24M Slovenia Vs Portugal C5 0218 JC

Post-match flash quotes: main round group II, 19 January

ER 2842 (1)
EHF / Danijela Vekić

HAMBURG - Comments from Denmark head coach Nikolaj Jacobsen (DEN), right back Mathias Gidsel (DEN) and goalkeeper Emil Nielsen (DEN) and Sweden head coach Glenn Solberg (NOR), line player Oscar Bergendahl (SWE) and left wing Hampus Wanne (SWE); Norway head coach Jonas Wille (NOR), goalkeeper Kristian Sæverås (NOR) and line player Magnus Gullerud (NOR), and Netherlands head coach Staffan Olsson (SWE), goalkeeper Bart Ravensbergen (NED) and right back Niels Versteijnen (NED); Slovenia head coach Uros Zorman (SLO), centre back Miha Zarabec (SLO) and line player Matic Suholežnik (SLO), and Portugal head coach Paulo Pereira (POR), goalkeeper Diogo Rêma Marques (POR) and centre back Martim Costa (POR) after Portugal beat Slovenia 33:30, Norway beat the Netherlands 35:32, and Denmark beat Sweden 28:27 in main round group II at the Barclays Arena on Friday.


Nikolaj Jacobsen (DEN) – head coach, Denmark

On the match:
“It was a fantastic match with two really good teams that know each other really well. The match was on a high level. At the end we needed luck and we got it. It was a messy end of game and I don’t know if anybody knows what has happened.”

On their chances of reaching the final weekend:
“We have good chances. I see a high possibility that both teams go to Cologne. We still have two tough matches and we do not take anything for granted.”

Mathias Gidsel (DEN) - right back

On the close win against Sweden:
“The game had it all. We knew even before it would be a key game against one of the best teams in the world and we knew it will be narrow until the end. Luckily, it was the Danish side that had a small margin win at the end. I am extremely proud and happy about this win. This was fighting for coming one step into the semi-final.”

On the support from the stands:
“We are lucky and grateful to have so many Danish fans here, we felt like we were home. I can't express enough how much this means to the team and I feel like you can tell that from our body language as well. I am looking forward to coming back here on Sunday again.”

On the next game against Norway:
“We just have to go further. We don't want to stop here. We have a good position in the group and we know we still must win. Normally, you can maybe say we can breath out a little bit, but we want to continue to evolve our game and be better every day. Now, we need to rest as this was a very high-intensity game.”

Emil Nielsen (DEN) - goalkeeper

On the win against Sweden:
“It was fun. The atmosphere was really great. I am very happy we managed to get a win. It was difficult, but I feel like it was a deserved win. We had an opportunity to finish it even earlier when we had the four-goal lead in the second half. We, unfortunately, didn't manage to do it, so I am happy we won at the end. Sometimes you also need a little bit of luck.”

On his performance:
“It was a difficult game for us goalkeepers. Sweden's play style is a bit different compared to the teams we played so far at the tournament. They get close to the defence, they make a lot of shots from the six metres and they had a lot of penalty shots. They are a very good team and I am happy I could help a little bit to get a win.”

Glenn Solberg (NOR) – head coach, Sweden

On the match:
“This game was fantastic. We were close to Denmark today. I am very satisfied with this game. Our defence in the second half was very good. We hope to beat Denmark next time.”

On their chances of reaching the final weekend:
“Denmark is one step closer than us. We still have two more tough matches and we want to go to Cologne.”

Oscar Bergendahl (SWE) - line player

On the exciting finish to the game:
“Intense and good game between two very strong teams, with a lot of speed and emotions. I think we maybe deserved a point, but it is like this sometimes. I am very frustrated and sad that we didn't take what we could. We need to work harder and get back stronger for the next game. We believe we can beat Portugal who is a very good team.

Hampus Wanne (SWE) - left wing

On the narrow defeat against Denmark:
“It was a very cool game to play, first of all. The atmosphere was amazing, but unfortunately, there were many Danish fans and we felt like we were playing in Denmark. I am proud of my team. I think we played like we wanted to and we planned, but in these big matches it's usually small things that decide.”

On the details that decided the game:
“It is hard to say. The game is long, but maybe in the first half the Danish players got through our defence a little bit too well and that damaged us a little too much.”


Jonas Wille (NOR) – head coach, Norway

On the game:
“It is always difficult to play against the Netherlands because of their quick players and their style of play. We are satisfied that we managed to play a good defence and that we kept our head calm in the end of the match.”

Kristian Sæverås (NOR) - goalkeeper

On their first win in four games:
“It was very important to win against the Netherlands. In the last couple of games, we have not played well. It is hard mentally to go through it when you know you have so much more potential. We showed against the Netherlands that we can still play good handball and that we are still in the game.”

On the game against the Netherlands:
“It was a high tempo in the first half. The Netherlands were running fast, running away from us. In the second half, it seemed like they didn't have the same power and stamina to continue, and we used that to make a comeback. We made it a little bit more combat in the defence and it was also nice to have some crucial saves in the important situations.”

On the next game against Denmark:
“We can beat them, but in the situation we are now I think we should look more on how we play, and not on the result. We need to make new steps in the right direction and then we will be able to see in which direction the game will go.”

Magnus Gullerud (NOR) - line player

On the win against the Netherlands:
“It is a great feeling to be the winner. It wasn't the tournament we hoped for until this game, results haven't gone our way, but we also didn't play good. It was a very nice feeling in the second half against the Netherlands that we good do everything we wanted.

“We had a good phase where attack, defence and goalkeepers were doing great. They were getting tired, and not able to run as much and when we adjusted our defence, came a little bit lower, forcing them to come closer when they had to make the passes and we provoked some errors, giving us a chance to score easy goals and were in the lead. It was a good feeling to be in the lead after a long time.”

On the next game against Denmark:
“Denmark are the best team in the world, I would say, but we have nothing to lose. We are just going to play. I don't know what are our chances in the tournament right now but will do our best to win the game and remain in the game. It is important for us to use every game we have to make additional progress for the challenges to come.”

Staffan Olsson (SWE) – head coach, Netherlands

On the result:
“We started well into the game and are satisfied with the first half. In the second half we had some technical faults and missed free shots. Overall we are satisfied with the team and the game.”

Bart Ravensbergen (NED) - goalkeeper

On the second defeat in a row:
“We had some difficulties in the second half to come in the game. Yet, we had some chances to get back near the end, but at that moment we made some mistakes and missed some of the chances. I feel disappointed, but proud of the guys and how we fought as we did not give up until the end.”

On the next game against Slovenia:
“Slovenia have some quick guys as well. They had a good tempo against Portugal also, but we will try to play our game. If we will only play six against six in the attack, we will have some problems.”

On the team:
“It is not easy to have two defeats in a row, but we were nor the favourites in these games and there is still plenty to play for. We will give everything in the last game and show the world what we can. Our injuries are not helping, we have some problem with depth but we also have other players that came in and did a good job helping the team.”

Niels Versteijnen (NED) - right back

On the defeat against Norway:
“It is really hard to lose again a top match. Just like against Sweden, we had a chance to win against Norway. We played a good first half, we were leading by two goals. In the second half, there were too many misses, but we need to focus on the next game. We are already playing in two days.”

On the next game against Slovenia:
“It is hard to play every two days, it is something new for me, but we will try to prepare as much as we can with the help of our physios, and give everything. Slovenia are a really strong team in defence and we need to run like we can to be able to get the first two points in the main round.”


Uros Zorman (SLO) – head coach, Slovenia

On the match:
“Today it was a difficult match for us. Two important players were missing. Congratulations to my players for a good 60 minutes but in the end we made some mistakes that decided the game.”

Miha Zarabec (SLO) - centre back

On the defeat by Portugal:
“Maybe even our attack was not that bad. We had solutions and good shots in some moments, but I think it was more defence that was problematic one. You could see we missed Blaz Blagotinsek. I have a feeling like we are all emotionally empty, without energy.

“However, the positive thing is that I know we can overcome it and that we have enough fuel in our tank. We must not surrender. We don't want to go home with four defeats. We need to make good analysis and get back on our feet, we have quality and I hope that will be shown in the next game.”

Matic Suholežnik (SLO) - line player

On the defeat against Portugal:
“It is really hard now. We wanted to win this game, but we had a lot of problems in the attack. We made too many mistakes and Portugal made fast breaks and scored some easy goals. That was one of the main reasons for the result.”

On the team's confidence for the next games:
“It is not easy when you lose two games in a row, especially after a good group phase, but we will try to get up again and win. We had tough matches so far and the tiredness starts to show. It was obvious how much we missed Blaz Blagotinsek in defence against Portugal.”

Paulo Pereira (POR) – head coach, Portugal

On the win:
“This was a good game. My team is on average 24 years old and we played against one of the best teams in this competition. We had to find solutions during the complete game but everybody was open to that. Today we were the better team.”

Diogo Rêma Marques (POR) - goalkeeper

On the win against Slovenia:
“We goalkeepers were up for the job when needed. We as a team now know what we can do, and make it even better than some expected. We are going to give everything in the following matches with the sane responsibility as we had in the game against Slovenia.”

On the next game against Sweden:
“It is going to be a very difficult match for us, we know who is Sweden. They always have a great team. We know their positive and negative things, and we will try to use that.”

Martim Costa (POR) - centre back

On the win against Slovenia:
“We prepared very good to play against Slovenia. We controlled the game very good from the first minute. No, we will focus on the next game against Sweden. We know it is very difficult for us to go to the semi-finals, but we want to make it and we will try everything to win. It will be very tough against Sweden, we are aware of that.”

On his top performance:
“We prepared good, it helped me to make some easy shots. There were also some difficult ones, but we do exactly what we need to in the attack and for me then it is easy when we do things right.”

On the Portuguese defence:
“We defended very good in the final part of the game, Rêma [Diogo Rêma Marques] also had some great saves, and it was amazing. We knew Slovenians were very good one-on-one and we were ready for that fight.”

On the perfect start to the main round:
“When you come to the main round you want to win all the games. Despite all the difficulties, you are not coming just to enjoy the game. For now, we are doing very good.”

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