ULLEVAAL STADION (VG) National team manager Lars Lagerbäck believes his players will be pushed far over the limit after three games in six days.
– No, it is not even justifiable to play two matches with two days in between. Physiologically, it is not good, but we should not blame it – it is the same for both teams, says the veteran at the press conference after the game.
With the decisive Nations League match against Serbia last Thursday, followed by the home matches against Romania on Saturday and Northern Ireland on Wednesday, the Norwegian national team players have really had their endurance tested.
– Anyone who knows a little physiology will say that it is not good. But I think the boys cope well, they are good at resting and recovering. In addition, the corona pandemic “helps” us, since we can not move out that much, says Lagerbäck after Norway’s unconvincing 1-0 victory over Northern Ireland:
The 72-year-old chose to make a number of changes towards both matches that followed the 1-2 defeat for Serbia, and against Northern Ireland only five of the players who started the match started last Thursday.
– I notice that some want us to roll even more, but you want to start with the best team possible, says Lagerbäck to TV 2.
Omar Elabdellaoui, who acted against Northern Ireland as captain in Stefan Johansen’s absence, started all three matches and was asked how he experienced it.
– It is not optimal. It will be a lot. But as Lars says, it is the same for the others as well. It’s just doing what you can to get ready for battle, but I feel it on my body, says the vice captain when asked by VG.
Had Norway beaten Serbia, another intense national team period would have been in order – with two Nations League matches and a decisive playoff against Scotland.
At least they are getting rid of that “problem” now.