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TELEKOM VESZPRÉM Ⓒ
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„Victory depends on, which side will be stronger mentally.”
2021-11-11 15:25
Prior to our match against Szeged, we spoke with Petar Nenadic. We asked our team’s Serbian left back about the upcoming Veszprém-Szeged derby, his experiences of this season so far and his years back in Szeged.
 
Hi Petar! Veszprém are having a rather peculiar season, how would you assess the season so far?

I think we’re having a good season, everything and everyone is heading in the right direction. Now we’re entering into a difficult a period with many-many matches, rather important matches. If I had to single out one of them, I would pick our EHF Champions League fixture against Zaporozhye, which is only 3 days after our derby against Pick-Szeged.
 
The team has three HUGE “scalps” (PSG, Barcelona, Flensburg) and two slip-ups away from home in the EHF Champions League. What is your opinion on this?

Like I said, I think we’re heading in the right direction, our group is, how should I say; brutally strong! The majority of the teams in our group are capable of playing handball at the highest level and are real contenders for reaching the Final4. I think it’s a bit too early to draw conclusions, as we have a lot more games ahead of us than behind us. Like in the lives of all teams of course, we are also capable of having rough patches. Mistakes and losses are in a way part of our lives and sports. Losses can even be useful if we learn from our mistakes.
 

 
What do you think about Momo and Gulyi and their progress with the team so far?

I know them very well, as I played with both of them. I’m a player, they’re coaches so it’s a simple situation; we try to do our jobs well as a team, we aim to do our best and reach our goals together.
 
It was mentioned here and there, that you regard Momir Ilic as sort of a mentor. How can you assist and help each other during the hardest challenges?
 
We fought a lot of battles together in the last 16 years; we played in the Serbian national team together and now we’re fighting for our common goals in Veszprém. It’s kind of a new situation since Momo became our coach. I think Momo is handling everything really well, whether it be trainings, matches, a team meeting or myself... I’m a player, just like everyone else. It can only work this way, we’re here to do our job, work hard and play handball at the highest level possible; this is the only way to success. We put aside our personal lives, emotions and everything else, try to become one with the team, to bring out the maximum from ourselves and from each other.
 
When Petar Nenadic jumps up at the 9-meter line, no one can predict if a genius pass comes next, or a good shot. Naturally, many other circumstances influence your decision-making. Which option do you think is “working out for you the best” nowadays?

A few years ago, and until Lauge didn’t make his comeback, I always started in the left-back position which meant I had a lot more responsibility in finishing our attacks. It’s always good for a team when we have multiple players who can play in multiple positions and are capable of scoring, assisting and playing creative handball, like Lauge, Mahé or myself. I am certain, that everybody will be doing their best for the team and taking on the responsibility, which requires a lot of experience and game time.
The truth is that I don’t really like to talk much about my playstyle. When I came to Veszprém I said that my goal was to win the Hungarian Championship every year, but of course my biggest dream is to finally win the EHF Champions League.
 

 
Our matches against Szeged are always about the fight between nerves and mental strength. Playing “attractive” handball is secondary on the list. How can you prepare for this, if it’s even possible?

Yes, it is possible. We play a lot of these tight, even matches during our careers. We’re used to the added pressure when we’re playing against Szeged, but we know we’re playing at home so it’s completely normal. This is a huge derby; our fans live and die for these matches and we will do everything in our power to win. Of course, it’s 99% sure that we will still face them in the in the final of the Hungarian Championship... but we want to win on Sunday, it’s crystal clear.
 
You played in Szeged for two years. How do you remember those times?

I transferred to Szeged from Barcelona. I was just making my comeback from a serious knee injury which put me on the sidelines for 10 months. Time goes on but the memories stay with us, it was a nice period. In Szeged, I got the chance to make my comeback in handball and I am grateful to many experienced and knowledgeable people.
 
We’re playing against Szeged on 14 November. What are your expectations?

It’s simple. As we’re playing at home, everyone is expecting us to win. However, like in all tight matches, it always comes down to which team can keep their cool and make less mistakes. I feel like in a lot of ways, it’s similar to an EHF Champions League match.
 
Both teams went through some changes, both in squad and in management. Do you think these changes will affect the match in any way?

I think it will be the same. There aren’t any big secrets. They follow us closely and we follow them and their performances in the Champions League. I don’t think any of the teams could surprise one another. Victory depends on, which side will be stronger mentally in the important, decision-making moments and which side will commit less technical errors during the match.
 
Thank you very much Petar, we wish you good luck! And on Sunday, Hajrá Veszprém!
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