Djukic laments GB fatigue

04 August 2012 / 12:44

Great Britain's handball coach Dragan Djukic believes his side's hectic Olympic schedule has caught up with them after a 34-17 defeat to Tunisia ended their hopes of qualifying for the knock-out stages.

Playing at their first major tournament, taking to court every other day is a new experience for Djukic's side.

"It's the same situation for all other teams, but the other teams have experienced this before at a World Championship or a continental championship," he told Press Association Sport.

"It's the first time ever for us and maybe it's the reason that we are not so fresh. We made mistakes that come from lack of concentration and that always happens when you are tired."

The first-half showing was fairly solid from GB and after scoring four out of five goals in four minutes before the break, their half-time deficit was only six goals, but as with their clash against Argentina on Thursday, a second-half dip allowed Tunisia to stretch their lead.

Indeed, the north Africans plundered in 10 of the opening 13 goals after the restart, including five in a row, and that took the wind firmly out of the hosts' sails.

"Again it was our famous second-half 10-minute period," Djukic added. "Unfortunately there was very little fuel left in our engine for another comeback like the one in the first half.

"We missed too many clear chances and this always destroys a team's mental power.

"We tried to play aggressive and open but we know the risk is too big against a team like Tunisia. The problem we had was trying to break the Tunisian defence and then they scored lots of goals on the fast break.

"All of us expected more from this game, but in the end, the result is the reality between the two teams."