All eyes on eighth-final spots as Pool B action is set to get underway No one feels like an underdog in Pool B of the CEV EuroVolley 2019 Men as all six of the participating teams have set their targets beyond the completion of this stage in Belgium and see themselves reaching at least the eighth-finals of the competition. Here is what some of the key names in the teams of Austria, Belgium, Germany, Serbia, Slovakia and Spain told the representatives of the media on the eve of the first Pool B matches set to take place at Paleis 12 in Brussels on Friday.

The coaches and captains of the Pool B squads

Peter Wohlfahrstätter, captain of Austria

“We are going to fight for the win in every game. Aiming at the top four of this stage and the final sixteen is a realistic ambition. After that, every game is a bonus. I know from my two seasons here in Belgium that the atmosphere can be really powerful and giving a boost to the players. Hopefully, it can give us a boost too and we can play a good opening game against the home team.”

Hendrik Tuerlinckx, opposite of Belgium

“We need to make a strong start against Austria. Taking a win in the first match is essential to get into the right flow for competing against Germany on Saturday. After that we hope to face Serbia in a battle between two undefeated teams playing for the top spot.”

Lukas Kampa, captain of Germany

“Our opening game is against Serbia, one of the top three teams of this Pool B. Playing the pool favourites on day one is something good, so we find out where we currently stand. We are very excited to play in Belgium. We have some history here and want to take revenge from their team on the second day.”

Nemanja Petric, captain of Serbia

“I think this is a really interesting pool. Two years ago, we won the bronze against Belgium and Germany took the silver medal. We aim to do better this time. We play our first game against Germany and the last one against Belgium. That means we need to be focused in every game. We can’t lose some points in the middle because we want to win the pool phase.”

Andrej Kravarik, head coach of Slovakia

“We are here to play an eighthfinal, as simple as that. We will try to play high level volleyball to ensure one of those spots. Losing points against Austria or Spain is not an option. Maybe we can stun one of the favourites and gain some points in those games as well.”

Jorge Fernandez, captain of Spain “We don’t consider ourselves pool favourites, but we are going to give everything to reach that top-four spot. Under no circumstances we will be pleased with a lower result. The games will be tough, but not impossible. If we believe and fight as a team, we can pull this off