“Those who count with our defeats should know that this team will reach their maximum when the most important matches are played”
The main phase of the Champions League in women’s competition came to the middle of the competition, and the Romanian champion already secured participation in the quarter-finals after a Sunday victory in a Thuringian away. We asked Dragan Djukic’s trainer to discuss how he sees the current situation in CSM, how the integration of Claudie Constantines into the team and which opponent would want in the quarter-finals.
What are your impressions after the first half of the competition in the main phase of this year’s Champions League?
– It’s likely that, on the one hand, many coaches want to be in my place, because CSM Bucharest is always a team with outstanding players and the greatest ambitions, but on the other hand maybe not exactly in this season where there are so many problems. As you know, I came to the team with many internal problems at the time, but the Romanian Supercup was lost and a direct match with the main rival (Valcea) in the domestic championship was lost. In the short time that we had available, together with people from the expert staff and with the help of the players, we managed to restore the stability of the team and finish the first part of the season in a way that was in accordance with the name and reputation of the club. But real problems have just come … During the European Championship, we lost two outstanding players (Kurtovic and Neagu), members of the first line-up, of which the other is one of the best players not only of our team but also of the world handball. Unfortunately, the search for some new solutions did not go the way we wanted. Many of the doors we knocked were closed either by clubs or by the players themselves, who for various reasons did not want to join us. This made us stay with a small gaming fund looking through the prism of goals we set ourselves up ourselves. On the other hand, there was also very little time to build a new game system, as nine of them played the EP in their national teams, so all this had to be done through domestic matches.
How does Claudius Constantines getting involved in the team?
– Her arrival was a little positive for our team, with the need to be patient and give her time to adapt to new tasks, which are certainly completely different from what she has had so far and at a completely new level.
The victory in the match with Thuringer has already provided you with a quarterfinal match!
– The match in Thuringer showed the character of this team, we managed to record an important victory and it was deprived of help by such an important player as Majda Mehmedovic, who could not play due to illness, and that is why we qualify in the quarterfinals, which was our primary goal at this stage. Many people on the side feel the need to evaluate the work we do, but if you do public work then you have to accept that people have the right to comment and comment on it. Our part is to focus on the mission in front of us and always and only look ahead, because there is no other way! Those who support us and love this team should know that we will do everything to play the best that can be used by the girls we have at our disposal and that we will not demand excuses in the absence of injured players, with the sincere regret that they will not be with us.
Which opponent would you want in the quarterfinals, if you could choose between Metz, Rostov and Buducnost?
– Any rival of the above would be genuinely difficult for us, and I think we would have an advantage over us. This, however, does not mean that we are afraid of them or that we will give up the fight, because I do not think any of these three teams would like to have us in the quarter-finals. The most important thing is to be ready for these matches, and for this we will use the remaining matches at the main stage. Those who do not understand these things and count at this time of our defeats should know that this team should reach the maximum form during the period when the most important matches are played, and that is certainly not January.