As a small reward for entering the main round of the EM, the German handballers were allowed to finish the last evening in Trondheim with burgers.
But also at the dinner prepared by Teamkoch Nils Walbrecht, German coach Christian Prokop and his players may have had a lot of questions going through their minds. Despite the move into the next tournament phase, the arduous 28:27-victory against Latvian outsiders also gave up puzzles. Before leaving for Vienna on Tuesday morning, the German trainer once again warned against an overly high expectation. And the captain even wants to downplay the claims.
OBJECTIVE CORRECTION? “I don’t want to abandon the goals because the team deserves us to believe in them,” Prokop stressed after the shaking against the Latvians. But then the restriction came: “But I asked for the expectation to remain realistic. And that, of course, is what we have now seen in the preliminary round.”
Captain Uwe Gensheimer even said that you have to lower the claims. The semi-final was the goal of the DHB selection before the EM. Why it does not look like you can reach the round of the best four teams at the moment has reasons.
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WHERE TO SWAT? “Of course you can also see, that we are not yet in the performance spheres needed for a semi-final,”said Prokop. You can see that the team has deficits.” That is not inexplicable either. We have some cancellations,”the 41-year-old added.
Alone in the back room there are several players missing, in view of the so far poor tournament, the German trainer has now for the first time explicitly pointed out the causes of the injury during the EM.” This is not the first choice of positions everywhere, that is clear. But these are good guys.”
AND NOW? On Thursday we continue against Belarus. Croatia has also been identified as another opponent in the main round.” Of course, we are not yet in a position to beat Spain or Croatia,”said Prokop. But perhaps we will be in two games.”
The coach and his players are betting that there will be more German fans in the Vienna City Hall than in the games in Trondheim.” We have all seen what happened at the World Cup in Germany last year. Vienna, of course, is a place where many Germans will arrive,”said Julius Kuhn.