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Bulgaria in fight to the end

Bulgaria needs victory to assure themselves a place in the Final Round
Varna, Bulgaria, June 30, 2011 -  Nothing but victory will do for Bulgaria as they prepare to take on Russia in the final week of the 2011 FIVB Volleyball World League Intercontinental Round with a spot in the Final Round at stake.

Bulgaria are still not guaranteed a ticket to Poland for the next phase. If the Final Round hosts lose to Brazil again on Thursday night and USA beat Puerto Rico this weekend it will come down to the best three second placed teams. At the moment Bulgaria sit dangerously close to not being one of those teams so victory is vital if they wish to play a further part in the tournament.

But Russia will be playing without pressure having already booked their place, and are unbeaten thus far.

"Yes, our job is done. Yes, we do not need to win. But we are here to be victorious and nothing can change this,” Russia coach Vladimir Alekno said. “Bulgaria is a strong team and I hope that we will make great volleyball spectacle for the crowd."

But Alekno also noted that a team with the likes of Matey Kaziyski and Vladimir Nikolov should be in the Finals.

His counterpart Radostin SToychev said he is not satisfied with the way his side have played up to now and knows they need to raise their level if they have any chance of a Final Round place.

"We made our job harder than it should be,” he said. “Now we depend on calculations and other teams. However - we will fight till the end. The boys realize what they have to do."

The side have been dealt a blow with captain Vladimir Nikolov forced to sit out due to injury.

Bulgaria President Georgi Parvanov, Minister of Sports Svilen Neykov and Military Minister Anyu Angelov are also due to attend the match.


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