With the last home match now already a month away, and 16 days after their loss in Presov, NEXE will on Friday (20.00 CET) host Steaua in what will be their first ever match for Romanian representatives in Nasice. Some Steaua’s players however know what it’s like to play in Nasice as Marin Vegar used to wear NEXE’s jersey prior to joining Romanians and Stefan Vujic played versus Nasice ‘Thunder’ while he was a member of PPD Zagreb. Also, his brother Igor used to play for NEXE.
Hosts started the season marvelously suffering their premier defeat in the fifth round playing Tatran away from home and it is clear they will on Friday look to get back on the winning tracks. Steaua are on the other hand not in such a good situation as they are 3-2 after first five rounds. Match in Nasice is however of high importance for both teams as it might in the end of the regular season prove to be crucial in Final four race.
Hrvoje Horvat, NEXE coach:
We started the season off great but kind of lost the right rhythm during this longer break which is why we are a bit concerned prior to the match against Steaua. They are on the other hand in good rhythm but we definitely must not look for excuses and give our best in order to come out victorious in front of our fans. Steaua have a roster full of quality internationals including Marin Vegar who used to play here in Nasice and it surely won’t be easy but I repeat, we must give our best and I hope that will, along with all the support we’ll hopefully receive from our fans, be enough for us to win the match.
Ivan Vida, NEXE player:
Steaua also had a well start of the season and they are in good rhythm with recent victories against Tatran and Meshkov. We’ll have to display our best game if we want to win the game. We’re aware we’ll have a favorite role in this one and we’re definitely running away from it. Our goal is to get back on the winning tracks and we’ll on Friday have a good chance to do that. We’re 2/2 at home so far this season and I hope we’ll on Friday evening be 3/3.
Ovidiu Mihaila, Steaua coach:
Due to tough schedule we’re dealing with some injury problems prior to what is definitely an important SEHA League match for us against NEXE. Situation is not ideal but we’ll look to find the right solutions for them. I don’t feel like I have to say much about Croatian handball as its results speak for themselves so we’re definitely up to a tough one on Friday, no doubt about that, especially with Romanian championship match against Timisoara right around the corner.
Martin Johannson, Steaua player:
Match in Croatia is very important for us and we’ll definitely give our best to win it despite of a tough injury situation we’re in right now.