Lars Lagerbäck debuted as Norwegian national team boss with a heavy 0-2 loss against Northern Ireland in Belfast. On Sunday,he saw his team recover, and beat Northern Ireland.
‘We are significantly better organised now, above all, in defence. In addition, we played too predictably when attacking in Belfast. We have also taken a step forward in this area’, he said after the team’s 1-0 win at Ullevaal - writes norwaytoday.info.
‘I thought it was a very good game, and that we deserved a win. Northern Ireland is a very polished team, very well organised. It was a physically demanding match and, as expected, there weren’t so many chances. A tactically well played, and interesting match’, he concluded.
After four home matches at Ullevaal, Lagerbäck has two wins and two draws, and in total, he is now in profit on the result side, with three wins, two draws and two losses (goals 13-10).
‘If we don’t count the Germany match, we’ve done well defensively. I think our defensive structure is quite good. Still, we can be a bit more aggressive, and quicker in the relocations, but we were compact today’, he said.
‘We must work to develop the attacking game. There was a good training in San Marino, but today we got a bit more fenced in, because we met a team that is much harder to go toe to toe with’.
Norway finished a heavy qualification season with two victories and 9-0 goals. Now it’s 11 months to the next tournament match, which will be in the new national league. Before that, there’ll be a training match.
‘I hope for two matches in November. Nils Johan (Semb) and the gang are working with contacts, but it is difficult to get a deal before the qualifications are over, and you know what teams are going to the playoffs,’ said Lagerbäck.
‘Ideally, I want to meet teams who are a little ahead of us in the rankings. Maybe not the very top teams, but I’d like to take on teams that are around 20th to 30th in the rankings.
Lagerbäck has said that he wants a ‘tribe of players’, as he had in Iceland, but he’s open to a bit more variation than he was.
‘There are more regular players here, so I have a little more choice. It is not as clear as in Iceland, which 14,15,16 players are the best.
It’s important to get as well-matched as possible, but I’m going to match some players,’ he said.
On Monday, Lagerbäck will sum up the qualification match for Norwegian media. On Tuesday, he sees the U21 national team meeting Germany in Drammen.
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