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Water polo: The Hungarian national team is preparing for victory over the Greeks

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The 17th FINA World Championship host Hungarian team plays against Greece in the semi-finals on Thursday night. The two teams know each other well, according to Hungarian players there is a way to defeat the Kazan’s bronze medalist - at least that’s what they told the press on their rest day.

The Hungarian national team only had to walk a few steps from their hotel rooms – functioning as their temporary homes - to the nearest restaurant, where the Hungarian national team’s head coach and four of his players held a press conference to the representatives of the media. It is the second time, they organize a meeting in this method, which would have been quite unusual in the past. Nowadays they don’t close themselves into a tiny box of their own during the tournament - in addition, the players' posts appear in social media too. Could this attitude may be a key to success and a self-confident, liberated game?

"I would rather say that Tomi / Tamás Märcz / gives us some kind of freedom in certain things, and there are a couple of players in the team who really do need it. He’s definitely a player-supportive coach, and I think this attitude gives many of us positive energy that keeps us away from convulsion. If something happens, there is a reaction, a feedback, which works perfectly well. Already in squad 18, the mood was very smooth, it was good to train with each other. The situation hasn’t changed since then and we still have this something, I can feel it. As we hoped for, this is not a burden to play at home " summarized Tamás Mezei on the team's current status.

He says there is nothing more the team should do on Thursday than entering the water and showing that they are better than the Greek team based on the Olympics’ players.

"We know all the information about them, I do not think they can surprise us," added the Hungarian team member nicknamed "Schultz".

"We got up in the morning thinking that we only have to deal with the semi-final against the Greeks. Nothing has changed in our workout, we are preparing from match to match, " said Tamás Märcz, the head coach of the team, who was also asked about the team's current status.

"I'm happy to see in the warm-up phase, right before the game or even on rest days that though the tension on the faces may seem to me clearly, I do not see any kind of nervousness on the guys. Physically, it's no question we're in a good condition, it was our plan to build this up from day to day. What we have imagined is working, of course, against the Greeks we will need a different strategy than we had against the Russians, "said the Head Coach.

"There is no lack of confidence in the Greek national team, they develop, demonstrate their merits in world races. They are a very well-organized team, they have talented players, and they are brilliant in defense in a man-made disadvantage. It's difficult to move around their zone, but I think we are able to get through them " Tamás Märcz added.

"The Greek is one of the few teams that really possesses a united team. We are going to need a generally good game against them, it’s not enough if we’re handling situations correctly in a prominent part of the game. We are about to dictate the pace so they cannot slow us down the game. They play good at the opponent’s exclusions, love to change the pace, run to the empty man, and sell the situation there. This is what we should be prepared for. " said Dénes Varga, captain of the Hungarian team.

According to Balázs Erdélyi, it may be that a lot of exclusions will be held on Thursdays, after all, the Greeks are often more likely to play in man disadvantage rather than playing with full team if there is a possibility fort the opponent to play their center.

"We have won with nine points against the Russians, but we are more likely to take the strength of standing up against the Italians when we laid at minus two. The Greeks work as a team, but I have to say we do too "Balázs Erdélyi added.

The match will start at 8:30pm at Alfréd Hajós National Swimming Pool, following by the Serbian-Croatian semi-final.