ULLEVAAL (VG) National team manager Lars Lagerbäck accuses Austria of acting after the 1-2 loss in the Nations League opener. That surprises coach colleague Franco Foda (54).
– Unfortunately, it is the case that the experienced players, and many of them play in the Bundesliga, take “professional fouls” and films, without it appearing that they are in pain afterwards. It is something we must learn, to meet teams that play like this, says Norway’s national team manager at a press conference here in the capital.
This is a claim that coaching colleague Foda does not recognize himself in. When asked by VG about how he reacts to Lagerbäck’s actor statement, the German looks surprised at what he has heard.
– No, I do not see it that way. We delivered a good match. It was a deserved victory. We were good throughout the match. We were the best team. It was an intense match with tackles from both teams, but I think the referee had good control of the match, says Foda to VG.
The German took the time to answer questions after the strong performance from his team. Foda says that they had analyzed Norway in advance and come up with how they could best win the match.
– Our plan was to put Norway under pressure early and all the time. And we succeeded.
– Are you surprised at how dominant you were?
– Yes actually. We kept a very high pace through 90 minutes. I did not expect that, because my players are not in a proper fighting rhythm yet. I am very proud of my team. We put Norway under pressure early on and did not let Norway play their game, says Foda.
The Austrian coach also revealed that they wanted to push Norway hard to prevent the Norwegian boys from setting up a guy like Braut Haaland often in front of goal. Denying room on the edges of Norway’s offensive back was also part of the plan.
Lagerbäck, for his part, had just seen his team lose at Ullevaal Stadium for the first time with him as coach when he arrived at the press conference here in the capital, flanked by Rune Almenning Jarstein and press manager Svein Graff.
– It is quite easy to summarize this match: It was a Norwegian national team that did not work for 60 minutes. We were passive. We were scattered all over Norway, it felt like. Very difficult to explain. It was very, very bad, says Lagerbäck.