Zsoldos Spurs Hungary On

20.09.2004

Hungary coach Andras Zsoldos wants his players to ignore the odds as they aim to qualify for the European Championships.

A 101-97 defeat in Belgium on Saturday has put Hungary second in Group C behind Germany, but with two games left to play, including a match against the Germans in Budapest, Zsoldos is refusing to give up the fight.

"We had four games in a row and we played well in the first three," Zsoldos said.

"In the away game against Belgium our play was a bit hectic and the home side was also helped a bit by the referee.

"The team spirit is very good and this is one of our biggest strengths. We have produced comebacks in a few games which always shows physical and mental power.

"We were underdogs before the campaign and we showed that everyone must count on us. Our aim is to do this again in the next two games, where we are not the favourites once again. I asked the guys before the qualifying games to ignore the fact that we are not the favourites."

Hungary last reached the final sixteen in 1999, when they finished 14th overall in the competition, and Zsoldos believes if his side could get there once again they could go on to cause more upsets. 

"Sometimes it's even harder to qualify for the tournament than to cause a surprise once you are there," he said.

"If we could reach the European Championship we should do the same again - prepare to do something special.

"Heaven or hell. Sometimes two or three points decide. The competition is very tough. Not only in the finals but also in the qualifiers. But we should be the ones to go two or three ahead this time."

Guard Istvan Nemeth, who scored 28 points in the game against Belgium, said: "We have a very hard job to qualify for the European Championship, however it's not an impossible mission. We must beat either Germany at home or Ukraine"


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