Despite the fact that the group win is already certain, sports director Axel Kromer does not fear any motivation problems for the German handball players at the end of the World Cup preliminary round.
"Even if the game is not relevant for the further course of the tournament, we will not give it away. That would also be far too risky, because you can only lose the flow with something like that," said Kromer before the meaningless game against Algeria (6 p.m. / ZDF) in Katowice.
Since the North Africans are already eliminated, the result of the game has no influence on the further course of the tournament. Regardless of the outcome, the German team will definitely start the main round with 4:0 points, where they will meet Norway and the Netherlands. The third opponent will be determined on Tuesday evening between North Macedonia and Argentina.
As against Qatar (31:27) and Serbia (34:33), Kromer expects a concentrated and courageous performance by the DHB selection against Algeria. "No one has the ambition to lie down on the couch now," he said.
Backcourt player Philipp Weber confirmed this impression. "We got into a little flow that we want to keep up. The lads are all so clear-headed and know how to tackle the game," said the 30-year-old from German champions SC Magdeburg and promised: "We will bring everything out of us on the record."
Corona has not been an issue at the World Cup so far
The fact that the World Cup has gone so smoothly so far has brought relief and joy to the German team. "It's extremely nice to experience a normal tournament again and to be able to move freely," said backcourt player Philipp Weber.
At last year's European Championship there were a total of 18 corona cases in the German team. Back then, players had to isolate themselves in their hotel rooms for days between finals matches. "I think it's much nicer that we can concentrate on the sport and have contact with each other again. These are things that we had to exclude at the last tournament. You enjoy that," said assistant coach Erik Wudtke.
However, he did not want to "praise the day before the evening", after all Corona only struck him last year after the preliminary round. Overall, the atmosphere at the World Cup is much more relaxed.
"Everyone who is here decided at some point for team sports because they want to experience successes and defeats together. They can do that again now," said Wudtke. And Weber emphasized: "We are happy that we can now play like we did a few years ago."