Flash quotes: media calls 22 January
Bratislava, 22 January – quotes from Germany sports director Axel Kromer (GER), left wing Patrick Zieker (GER), goalkeeper Daniel Rebmann (GER) and line player Johannes Golla (GER) at a media call in Bratislava on Saturday.
Axel Kromer (GER) – sports director
On the first two main round matches:
“We were defeated twice by top quality opponents, the defending champions and 2020 European bronze medallists. The duel against Spain was our weakest match, against Norway we improved but deservedly lost again, as Norway were stronger.
“It was our aim to make it to the main round, we won all three matches in the first stage, and we knew before that we were underdogs against Spain and Norway regardless our line-up. For the future, it is our aim to change it, at least to be on an equal performance level or even will become the favourites. This is why it is important to play tournaments like this to gain experience.”
On the upcoming match against Sweden:
“Sweden are the silver medallists of the last World Championship, they have many high-quality players in the Bundesliga, we are again the underdog, but we want to grab our chances.”
On the line-up against Sweden:
“We cannot say at this moment which of our previously positive tested players can be back. We are in contact with them, we need to wait for the final medical checks.”
Patrick Zieker (GER) - left wing
On his unplanned journey to the EHF EURO 2022:
“During our club training I received the info that they called for me. When I heard that Lukas Mertens and Marcel Schiller were positive, it was quite obvious that they need another left wing. I packed my bag, and right next morning, I went to Bratislava.
“It is impressive how the team copes with the whole situation. We try everything to support our players in quarantine, we function well as a team. I want to help the team, it was out of question not to join the team. I played the EHF EURO 2020, so it was bit easier for me to jump into the team.”
On the upcoming match against Sweden:
“Sweden will be as tough as the first two main round matches. We need to reduce the unforced errors, want to play attractive handball, with less mistakes. It is hard to play against us if our defence works, but ultimately the attack was the problem, as we gave the balls away too easy. If we can work on this, we have a chance against Sweden.”
Daniel Rebmann (GER) – goalkeeper
On his first ever international match for Germany at the EHF EURO:
“It is still completely surreal for me to be here. I received a call on Tuesday afternoon to come here. No question for me, I wanted to help the team, then I was told to pack my bag, I had a short training at my club in Göppingen, before next morning at 7:00 am the plane departed to Vienna, now I am here.
“It was always my dream to play for the national team, it is crazy that I have my first ever meeting with the national team at an EHF EURO, and to have my debut against defending champions Spain in the main round – simply incredible.
“I was twice part of the German team at Beach Handball EURO events in 2015 and 2017 in Spain and Croatia, but playing handball with the indoor national team is completely different, it is a very special experience for me, I will never forget of course. The only contact with my teammates – except the matches – is via WhatsApp, which is completely crazy. But despite this situation, I am totally happy.”
Johannes Golla (GER) – line player and team captain
On the two defeats against Spain and Norway:
“We are disappointed, as we did not play on the level that we’re capable of. There were definitely some things we can do better. We could cope with Spain in the first half, and we were on an equal level with Norway, but not that long.”
On their next opponents, Sweden:
“This is our next test at the highest level, we want to show that we can manage to beat a team like Sweden. We need a compact defence and have to play bravely in attack.
“In terms of the width of the squad, Sweden are even better in Norway. Of course, it will be interesting to face my Flensburg teammates Jim Gottfridsson and Hampus Wanne, who both play an outstanding tournament. It will be really hard to stop Jim, he is such a complete and brilliant player.”
Bratislava, 22 January – Quotes from the Norwegian media call by coach Christian Berge (NOR) and centre back Sander Sagosen (NOR) before their match against Spain on Sunday.
Christian Berge (NOR) – coach:
On the keys for success against Spain:
"We have to play with a tough defence and need our counter attacks against this strong Spanish defenders, definitely we have to minimise the number of technical errors.”
Sander Sagosen (NOR) – left back:
On the confidence they took from the victory against Germany on Friday:
“We took a lot of confidence, as we play better and better each game. We need to have this confidence to beat a team like Spain.”
On the long series of Norwegian defeats against Spain:
“This is sport. And of course I do my best to end this series, we cannot wait to do so. But we know that this will be a hard, hard fight to beat Spain.”