Change of coach in Kiel “not an issue”: Szilagyi supports Jicha
THW Kiel suffered the next setback in Leipzig. Coach Filip Jicha is still firmly in the saddle.
No “big problems”: Victor Szilagyi (left) doesn’t want to allow any discussion about Filip Jicha to arise.
Four defeats in eight league games – Kiel regularly gives up in the early stages of the season, and the Zebras also had nothing to gain in Leipzig when they lost 34:35 on Saturday. The fact that not all alarm bells are ringing for the reigning champions is due to their strong performance on the international stage. In the Champions League, the Kiel team got the maximum points from four games.
That may also be the reason why Jicha is not yet counted as the main person responsible. Managing director Viktor Szilagyi called the defeat in Saxony “extremely bitter” and “very painful”. But he didn’t allow a coach discussion. “That’s not an issue at all. A change of coach would only be an option if we no longer believed that this team would work – and we definitely don’t have those thoughts,” Szilagyi told the SID on Sunday.
Although Kiel is in a worse situation than it has been in six years, Szilagyi assesses the situation in a differentiated manner. “In all four defeats in the Bundesliga, we weren’t the worse team over 60 minutes. The way it was played, it’s very, very bitter. But we’re not as far away as it seems when you look at the table,” said the sports director. “I don’t see any major problems for us.”
Title defense “not an issue”
Szilagyi also knows that a successful defense of the title in the Bundesliga is now almost unattainable for the THW. Last year, Kiel only had one more minus point after 34 match days than it does now after eight. The still unbeaten league leaders Füchse Berlin are well ahead. “With minus eight points you can’t claim to be playing for the championship,” said Patrick Wiencek. Hendrik Pekeler also didn’t close his eyes to the bitter reality that the championship was “no longer an issue” for the time being.
Most recently, the victories in the Bundesliga (HSV Hamburg) and Champions League (Industria Kielce) indicated an upward trend after the false start including the embarrassing cup exit against HSG Wetzlar. But in Leipzig it became clear that the Kiel team, who lost two key players in Sander Sagosen and Niklas Landin in the summer, are currently lacking ease.
“This THW jersey weighs heavily, sometimes we reach limits that some cannot withstand this pressure every third day,” said Jicha, who is in the most difficult phase since he took office in 2019. Szilagyi hasn’t been bothered by this so far: “He’s a fighter and will come out of this with the team,” he said.