Iran's coach Slobodan Kovac dreams about a victory against Russia
Lodz Poland, September 19, 2014 – Iran coach Solobodan Kovac feels confident about his team’s chances when they meet Olympic champions Russia in the match for fifth place at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship at the Atlas Arena on Saturday.
The very close match these two sides played at the FIVB Volleyball World League Finals, when Russia prevailed 3-2, has uplifted the hopes of the members of the Asian team, who now want to take the extra step against the European squad.
“We have a chance to win against them,” Kovac said on his arrival in Lodz, where they will meet Russia. “In the last two matches we didn’t play well and we can all see the results. Russia have a good reputation in winning but maybe we can wake up and try to do something more.”
Team Iran more and more often play at the same level with the best teams as revealed by their fourth place finish that they achieved at the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup in 2013 and the World League in 2014. Now, they have secured sixth place at the World Championships.
“We are making big progress,” Kovac continued. “We played in the World League Finals, and now we are among the best six. It wasn’t so obvious before the start of the Championship as we were grouped with USA, France, Belgium, Italy and Puerto Rico. Not only did we advance to the second round, but also to the third round and I think it’s fantastic. If we believe more in ourselves we have a chance to be better in the future.”
Iran played very good volleyball since the very beginning of the tournament reaching the third round where they were not as efficient as in the previous two phases.
“It is not a catastrophe as the last time we finished in 19th place and now we are among the best six teams in the world which is fantastic. Only in the last two matches we didn’t play well.
“European volleyball is very strong and we only knew something about Russia, Italy and teams like them, but not about France and Germany who are playing very good volleyball,” Kovac concluded.
Written by Katarzyna Mędrzyk - Young Writers programme