Tvedten: We have nothing to lose, but everything to win

INTERVIEW: The Norwegian wing played five years in Spain and will face some well-known faces in the match against the world champions on Tuesday

Photo: Aniko Kovacs

As he played in Spain from 2006 to 2011, first for Logrono, then for Valladolid, Havard Tvedten has the best knowledge of the Spanish side in the Norwegian team.

Right before the match against his former club and league mates, the wing player hopes that this can help his team preparing for the next challenge in  Group B as Norway face the world champions on Tuesday in Aalborg.

After losing the opener against Iceland 26:31, Tvedten and Norway hope for a major surprise.

Tvedten, by the way, enjoys another advantage in the preliminary round.

Like Norwegian goalkeeper Ole Erevik he plays for reigning Danish champions Aalborg Handball and therefore plays three matches on 'home court' at the EHF EURO.

Before the encounter with Spain, the 35-year-old counter attack specialist talked to Will you be leading your team's the final preparations for the match against Spain as you know the opponents best?

Havard Tvedten: Of course, I know a lot about their players and I also hope that I can unveil some secrets about them, but the Spanish side is incredibly good. We have to focus on the whole team, not on individual stars. What was the reason for the opening defeat against Iceland?

Havard Tvedten: We had a terrible start, being seven goals behind Iceland – and then we couldn't manage to get closer in the rest of the match. We were really hit hard in the initial stages.

But now hopefully we learnt our lesson for the match against Spain. We have nothing to lose against the world champions, but everything to win. But to be successful we clearly need to reduce the number of mistakes. By looking upon the ranking and the performances of all four teams in Aalborg one could think that Norway now only focus on the final preliminary round match against Hungary, the potentially crucial encounter for reaching the main round.

Havard Tvedten: No, this is completely wrong. We only focus on Spain right now, as we don't know the result of Hungary against Iceland. So no calculations, we are just trying to beat Spain. Is there any Spanish player you need to be aware of most?

Havard Tvedten: We just have to remind ourselves that our defence is the strongest part of our game. In my opinion we can stop any team of the world with our 6:0 defence including our goalkeepers.

Spain play very tactical and we analysed their attack intensely, so if we want to beat them, we need to beat them by our defence. Both teams count on strong wing players – is it a special duel for you to face players like Victor Tomas or Albert Rocas?

Havard Tvedten: We have to shut down their wing players if we want to be successful. But duels with players like Tomas and Rocas are always something special. So you are confident ahead of the match?

Havard Tvedten: We are the underdogs, Spain are the clear favourites. We  missed the World Championship 2013, Spain won the title.

This says all about the teams. But we have a young team that wants to show all the world that it deserves to be here at the EHF EURO.

written by Björn Pazen / ts