I do not care about statistics, says Johannesson

PREVIEW: Ahead of the opener against Czech Republic it does not bother Austria's coach that his team are the underdogs in Group A

Photos: EHF

Patrekur Johannesson, national coach of Austria, is aware that his players are underdogs in Group A ahead of their opening match against the Czech Republic at 18:00 hrs on Sunday in Herning's Jyske Bank Boxen.

However, this fact does not bother Austria's Icelandic coach much.

"Our chances to reach the main round are good. Denmark are the clear number ones, FYR Macedonia were fifth at the latest EHF EURO, and the Czechs are always good, so statistically speaking we are number four in that group. However, statistics do not interest me much," Johannesson said.

"The Czech Republic usually practice a 6:0 defence, but also 3:2:1 at times, with (Filip) Jicha on top. Here we must try and make the big and physically strong Czech players move.

"Of course, their game is based a lot on Jicha and (Pavel) Horak, but you cannot just focus on those two, as they are also well equipped in other positions.

"For instance, they have fast wings, and with (Petr) Stochl, they have an excellent goalkeeper," said Patrekur Johannesson.

Czechs aiming to minimise mistakes

When the Czechs and the Austrians meet in Jyske Bank Boxen in the early evening hours Sunday, it will be the first time that the two neighbouring countries meet in a competitive match.

In order to be successful in that encounter, the Czechs should look at their attacking play. At least if you ask Daniel Kubes who is otherwise usually a defence specialist.

"We will need to minimise the number of technical mistakes in our attacking play, as these mistakes were our main problem in our preparation matches," the left back from German Bundesliga club MT Melsungen said.

The first match is always tough, but so will all of them be. There are no outsiders at (EHF) EURO We have to play at our maximum in all games, no matter who we play," Kubes added.

written by Peter Bruun / br / ts