Champions League, Main Round, Day 9 PRE-GAME QUOTES

Group A (Wednesday) 

19.15 (Tuesday) Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) v AN Brescia (ITA) 

Theodoros Vlachos, coach, Olympiacos 

“The game against Brescia is crucial for maintaining our goal to qualify for the Final 8. Brescia is a  tough team with very good results so far at home and away and always strives for victory. Our  performance, the passion for victory, the control of the pace of the game can give us the valuable  victory for the sequel.” 

Marko Bijac, goalie, Olympiacos 

“I expect a very difficult game. In our last game against Brescia in Italy we didn’t play our best game  and I hope we will be better tomorrow. If we want to win, we have to be much better. Brescia is the  team we will fight for the first position of the group. It will be a very difficult game and if we play our  best, I’m sure we will have a positive result.” 

Alessandro Bovo, coach, Brescia 

“We’re getting back to normal after a long time and we absolutely needed it. We need to rebuild our  condition, which has been missing in the last few games, but it is normal. Against Olympiakos it will be  a very stimulating game. They are a very strong team and nominee number one for the final victory. We  will do our best.” 

19.00 Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB) v Zodiac Atletic Barceloneta (ESP) 

Uros Stevanovic, coach, Radnicki 

“On the wings of the victory against Olympiacos, we will try to surprise Barceloneta as well, which beat  us convincingly in Barcelona. We opened the game in Barcelona badly, but we were much better in the  second half and that second half was a turning point for us so far this season. I hope we will continue  with plays from that second half and that we will win. I hope that the atmosphere will be like in the  game against Novi Beograd, but this time we will repay the audience by winning.” 

Nemanja Stanojevic, player, Radnicki 

“This match is the most important for us so far, to stay in the race for F8. We didn’t do well in  Barcelona at the beginning, but in the second half, we responded well to their aggressive game and saw  that we could play against them. If we repeat that in Kragujevac, we can win.” 

Fran Fernandez, player, Barceloneta 

“This match is of great importance to us. We left points in the matches that we had practically won and  that has punished us in the rankings. Now we are in the position where only winning is an option. And  that is our goal. We trust in being able to achieve it and it is our great challenge. The rival will require to  play 120%. They come in a positive dynamic plus the atmosphere of their venue, all of this makes them  more dangerous. We have six matches, six finals. Right now, winning is our only option.”

“We are very excited about the match against Radnicki, because we are finally all healthy and we have  been able to recover the rhythm of workouts. As a team we want to enjoy this match. For us it is a final,  a very important match so that we keep our chances alive to qualify for the Final 8. So our mental and  physical preparation have been done as if we are facing a final. One of match keys is to guard of Josip  Vrlic, one of the best centres in the world.” 

19.00 Jadran Split (CRO) v FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) 

Mile Smodlaka, coach, Jadran 

“We finally had ten days in a row with normal training. Since the game against Jug AO in the league  was rescheduled, we didn’t have game pressure and we put some things in place. Ivan Marcelic, former  Mladost Zagreb goalkeeper, signed for us, but we cannot use him for Champions League games.  Ferencvaros is a great team, we must be very focused in defence and fast in attack.” 

Zvonimir Butic, player, Jadran 

“We have to stop the fast breaks as they are good swimmers. We know where they are strongest, Denes  Varga is a great player. We know how to deal with that. We see our chances in attack. We are now out  of COVID-19 problems, things look more normal now and I think we can win this game.” 

Zsolt Varga, coach, Ferencvaros 

“The main theme of the season is how you manage your resources: a coach rarely has a complete roster  to choose from nowadays. You have to make the most of what you have available, and we have been  quite successful in that regard. We’re on a good run both domestically and on the European stage and  would like to continue on this path. Jadran is a dangerous opponent, Croatian teams always are, but the  business end of the group stage is upon us, so a win here would put is in a great position to reach the  final eight.” 

Luca Damonte, player, Ferencvaros 

“Every match is a difficult one in our group, especially away from home so I expect a very tough night  in Split. In this period Covid also plays a big part so it will be interesting to see if there are any  absentees on either side. Jadran played very well in the latest round against Brescia, but we will do  everything to win!” 

19.45 Novi Beograd (SRB) v Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) 

Dejan Jovovic, coach, Novi Beograd 

“We will try to continue in a good rhythm, we are in a four wins streak. If we want to do that, we need  to stay focused through the whole game and to be very well focused, especially at the beginning of the  match. I think that all my players realised what we need to do to win the match, and the most important  thing is that we have a very serious approach to every game and to every opponent. Dinamo has a very  

good team, with several very experienced players and great Serbian coach Dejan Stanojevic. I expect  very interesting game.”

Djordje Vucinic, player, Novi Beograd 

“We are in a very good shape, and we will do our best to take another win in LEN Champions League.  In the first match this season in Georgia we won, but we have a huge respect for Dinamo. It will be very  though game, and we need to prepare for that mentally and physically. Also, we will try to push our  performance on a higher level and play a good game.” 

Zurab Rurua, coach, Dinamo 

“A very difficult clash awaits us in Belgrade, as we miss five players in this game due to Covid 19 and  for various reasons, which is very unfortunate. So our main goal will be to manage the game correctly,  to play as carefully as possible in attack. We must also play carefully against their top players and try to  neutralize them.” 

Group B (Tuesday) 

19.00 Genesys OSC Budapest (HUN) v Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) 

Daniel Varga, coach, OSC 

“Another big game is coming. Jug is one of the fastest team in the Champions League, they are always  well prepared mentally and tactically as well. My players are ready for the game. We want to take an  important step forward in the group, so our objective is to win on Tuesday.” 

Krisztian Manhercz, player, OSC 

“Dubrovnik is one of the best teams in our group. And I am sure after our first game they want to beat  us in our pool. They are a really fast team with lot of young players, but we will do our best to keep the  three points at home!” 

Vjekoslav Kobescak, coach, Jug 

“We haven’t played a game in the last 15 days because of Covid so I don’t know how the team will  react after the break. Still, I believe we can continue in the good rhythm we had before the break. We  lost at home to OSC in December and now I hope we can strike back.” 

Maro Jokovic, player, Jug 

“Regardless of the fact that we are playing in Budapest and that we lost to them at home in the first  game, I think that the games we played before the break give us optimism and I believe that we will  play this game on a high level.” 

19.00 Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) v CN Marseille (FRA) 

Petar Kovacevic, coach, Spandau 

“As a coach of Marseille for many years, I am looking forward to playing with the Wasserfreunde  against my old club. Marseille is a very strong team and our defeats in the first leg in Marseille showed  that. My team will have to show all its skills in the return match to defeat the French. Nothing in  impossible, we are highly motivated.”

Marko Stamm, player, Spandau 

“After a long break due to injury, I am looking forward to the encounter with Marseille. The team is  excellently staffed with world-class players in all positions and has shown a consistent performance in  the current season. We have prepared well for this match and want to use our home advantage for a  good and exciting game.” 

Milos Scepanovic, coach, Marseille  

“We had a few players who had Covid but they are better. They even resumed training. We have a great  week ahead of us to do effective training sessions. We returned home as winners of the Coupe de  France in a positive atmosphere and in confidence. It’s up to us to continue to work on our game tactics  as we have been doing since the start of the season despite some difficulties. This week will therefore be  key for us to have a good match against Spandau 04 Berlin.” 

Mathias Olivon, player, Marseille 

“In sporting terms, we are in a very good dynamic despite the difficulties on a human level. Indeed, we  have had covid cases, but the team is shaping as the sessions progress. We have a week to work and  prepare for the next game against Spandau 04 Berlin. We are confident.” 

20.00 Crvena Zvezda (SRB) v Steaua Bucharest (ROU) 

Dusan Markovic, coach, Zvezda 

“We expect it to be a very interesting match, we sincerely hope that we  

will end the series of defeats and record a victory.” 

21.00 Pro Recco (ITA) v Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) 

Gergo Zalanki, player, Pro Recco 

“The game with Hannover will be very important because we don’t have any good playing  opportunities as we can’t play lots of game since the Covid situation postponed the Italian  Championship. The last game we played in Milan was very good, it was maybe a game of fun, but it  was a very good feeling to play there. There was a lot of people, the atmosphere was nice, and I think it  will be the same on Tuesday.” 

Marco Del Lungo, player, Pro Recco 

“We face a team with many valuable players who have won many international matches. We will have  to play with concentration and intensity from the first minute.” 

Karsten Seehafer, coach, Hannover 

“It’s not easy to play against Recco, especially in Italy. But we will see, we will do our best…” 

Fynn Schütze, player, Hannover 

“With two wins from the last two games, we’re on our way to the group leader and title-favourites. Our  game is variable and dangerous, we want to make it difficult for Recco.”