Nexe looking to heal Portuguese wounds against Motor

Fran Mileta

Croatian vice-champs Nexe will on Tuesday (19.00 CET) in Nasice welcome Ukrainian Motor Zaporozhye. Seven rounds into the regular part of the season Motor’s score looks way better than Nexe’s – Ukrainians have nine points more than Slavonian ”Thunder”, three of which came back when they met for the first time this season in Zaporozhye (33:31). 

Teams are waiting for the encounter in two different kinds of ”European” moods as Nexe failed to reach EHF Cup group stage after falling short against Benfica while Motor managed to reach their premier Champions League win of the season last weekend against Porto. It is clear coach Horvat and his guys will be looking to heal Portuguese wounds but to do that against a team like Motor will be far from easy. 

Hrvoje Horvat, Nexe coach: 
We have to forget about what happened in the EHF Cup and look forward. Motor are coming to Nasice on Tuesday and they have a really good team. We’ve played a solid match in Ukraine and it’s clear we’ll have to play an even better one at home if we want to reach points. I hope we’ll manage to get rid of the scars and show ourselves in the best possible way in front of our fans. Mrdjenovic is injured and it is important that we find a way to keep our defense on a good level. I expect fans to be our eighth player in this one.

Fran Mileta, Nexe player: 
We’re still getting over the loss in Portugal but that’s handball and there will surely be a lot more similar matches. We have to look ahead now and prepare best we can for what’s waiting for us on Tuesday. 

Rostislav Lanevich, Motor Zaporozhye coach:
We were preparing for this one as usual – analyzing our opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. In our previous match we’ve allowed them to score way too many goals as they played really good in 7 versus 6 attacking schemes. We’re expecting a good fight against a team which most certainly won’t give up as they also need points. I’m sure they’ll do their best to come out on top in this one since they failed to reach the EHF Cup group stage but I assure you we’re going there with an intention to win it as well. 

Zakhar Denysov, Motor Zaporozhye player:
Despite of everything, every new match is a chance to prove yourself and to win. However, it’s always difficult to do that on the road. In our premier match of the season Nexe delivered an excellent outing playing good in 7 versus 6 attacking options. We weren’t able to seal the deal early in that one but we still managed to come out on top. Looking at our roster for this one I feel like we are going to win this one as well. What we need to focus on is our defense because in case we manage to improve on that side of the ball I believe everything is going to work and look better.