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Savic: Never Thought We Would Win the EC for the 5th Time in a Row

Serbia stood from the ground after the quarter-final and defeated Greece. Here are the quotes from the head coaches and the players.

Dejan Savic, head coach, Serbia
“We never thought we would win the Europeans for the fifth time in a row. Still, it is important to note that we would have needed only one goal to win the quarter-final, but that was an important game for our team’s mentality. It was not easy to prepare the players after the quarter-final loss. It is a success that we managed to overcome that psychologically. We had the control of the match the whole time. We will be motivated for the match against Italy, they are our old rivals so it is question of prestige.”

Theodoros Vlachos, head coach, Greece
“We didn’t expect to play for 5-8th place against Serbia. They are always a favourite for gold. It is difficult to play against such a strong opponent. I am satisfied with performance of my team today, they fought till the end. We had some bad luck, conceded some unlucky goals, two or three at least. Also some passes didn’t work. Our next match against Russia won’t be easy. We will give our best.”

Stefan Mitrovic, player, Serbia
“It was, and it wasn’t a shock to lose to Spain. They are playing at a very high level and are constant at it. They may not be the best individually but together they form an amazing team. It is always more difficult to play against such teams than against a team of top individual players. Playing for the 5-8th places is psychologically difficult. Today we had to do without Dusko Pijetlovic and had to give an extra effort to compensate his absence. There were a lot of fouls and exclusions but we remained calm till the end. I am really proud of my team-mates. We managed to rise and move forward after the quarter-final loss.”

Branislav Mitrovic, goalie, Serbia
“Neither team could play this match with a 100 per-cent focus. We were not prepared to fight for the 5th place, but these matches also have to be played. Our attitude was good, and we wanted this win more than them.”

Konstantinos Genidounias, player, Greece
“I would not believe if someone told me we would play against Serbia in this phase but it just shows that anything can happen in these championships. We were competitive in the first half. We lost the match in the third quarter when they pulled away by three goals and we couldn’t come back. We have a lot of motivation for the next match. Firstly, to qualify for the Worlds, secondly to close the championships with a victory and keep the momentum for the Olympic Qualification Tournament in March.”

Source: LEN Press Office

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