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​​Lars Walther admits being favourite against Ohrid

Coach stated his determination in qualifying to the competition and fight for a spot in the group stage of the EHF Cup

This Saturday (15h00, Porto Canal), the handball team begins the fight for a spot in the third qualification round of the EHF Cup, against Ohrid 2013; the winner will qualify to the group stage of the competition. Despite the fact that both matches will be played at Dragão Caixa (the second is on Sunday, at 15h00), FC Porto plays the first as a visitor. Facing a team “typical of the Balkans”, Lars Walther admitted in the preview of the match that the Dragons are favourite and even lifted the veil over the weapon that will be used to counter the slower and more physical game of the Macedonian team: “I think their defensive recovery is a bit slow and we can take advantage of that factor by betting on the counterattack.”

Also anxious to start another competition is Hugo Laurentino. The goalkeeper ensures a confident and motivated team to start another European competition, in a stage where the group has the comfort of a “momentum of good results”.

Lars Walther (coach)
Counterattack as a weapon
“We've seen three of their matches. I think they are a typical team from the Balkans: they play slowly, with great physical power. It will be important to bet on speed, because, if we play slowly, they will have an advantage. I think their defensive recovery process is a bit slow and we can take advantage of that factor by aiming at counterattacking.”

The moment of the team
“I think that, every week, we are taking small steps in a good direction. The whole team is working well, in line with our new handball. We have new systems, we have a faster, wider game, and it has been improving every week.”

Blue and white favouritism
“I think we are favourites for this round. Obviously, the game next Wednesday [against ADA Maia] is very important for us. We are in good form and in good physical shape and so I’m not expecting big problems in having the team at a good level for the next three matches.”

Optimism in the team
“I'm optimistic for the future. We had difficult matches: ABC at home, Sporting, Benfica and Madeira SAD away, which means that, for the second turn, they will play in our home. The goal is always to win.”

Hugo Laurentino (goalkeeper)
“The team is confident and we are all eager to start playing this European round. It is a competition that we want to be in and one of the goals of the team is to reach the group stage. We are on a momentum of good results and we want to take advantage of it to overcome this opponent. Our motivation went up immensely and the victory against Sporting was enough to stop people from questioning our quality. We know they are a good team, they eliminated Volendam, so we are on our toes.”

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