A chaotic football match ended in a 0-2 loss to Portugal in this year’s first international match for the Norwegian girls.
Norway captain Ingrid Syrstad Engen summed up that “overall it feels like we have a lot to do” immediately after the game.
National team manager Martin Sjögren obviously agreed. The Swede sat right in front of the machine and watched the replay of the regulations late Wednesday night.
– It’s important to deal with the game as soon as possible as we are not completely happy with how the game looks, but also because there will be a game again soon, the Swede told TV 2 after Norway’s morning session on Thursday.
– We sat and watched the game late yesterday and tried to sort of structure an analysis that we presented to the players this morning, so that we can use this day to partially take with us what we need to take with us further away.
Thus, there were analyzes and discussions in the team of players already at breakfast on the match.
– You shouldn’t be happy when you lose 2-0 against Portugal as a lower ranked team and we have big ambitions. I think that to be able to go further, you have to be critical, says Julie Blakstad.
The stay in the Algarve is one of two gatherings for the national team this spring before the start of the European Championship on June 20.
– We have to use all the opportunities we have to train because we don’t have many games left and some of them may not be as good as we should have been for a championship, continues the new Manchester City player.
In April, the national team will play the World Cup qualifiers against Kosovo and Poland before hopefully two training matches before the start of the league proper for Norway with a game against Austria on July 7.
– I think we have a long way to go before we are where we want to be towards a championship. What we delivered yesterday does not hold up in the European Championships, says Blakstad ruthlessly.
– I hope that was a wake-up call for the girls, and it seems like everyone wants to take action and put things in order.
“Colder in the Box”
Breakfast brought both good discussions and some answers.
Anja Sønstevold notes that the group of players have gone one step further after the defeat against Portugal.
– We focused on defensive play before the game. We both felt and watched the scan that we struggle with distances and timing. But it’s good to see images, to talk about it and then we’ll adjust it for the next game, says the Inter player.
She was part of a partly newly composed defense tree with Martia Thorisdottir and Guro Bergsvand in the Portugal encounter.
The latter experiences that the analysis meeting has clarified and that it has been possible to see where “the shoe presses” for Norway.
– We have a lot of balls won, but we feel that we have trouble defensively, that we do not control the ball. And then we struggle in established attacks. Take more care of the ball and maybe establish yourself higher up the pitch, but at the same time those ball wins give us a lot of space offensively, says Brann’s midfielder.
– It makes you want to go to those rooms, but this appreciation there, it’s a specific thing. The same goes for the defensive. You see it when you get it in front of you on video and we get very impatient and want it so badly. So we are not entirely right to always be able to walk. When you see it in the photos, you can see that you may have to be a little “colder in the box” especially when you are pushed a little lower in the terrain.
Sjögren: – For the impatient
The national team manager’s analysis is that Norway have both good and bad spells against Portugal, but what worries him is the quality distance.
– The difference between the good periods and the slightly less good periods is a little too great. I don’t think we can control incidents, whether in attack or defence, says Sjögren.
– Why are there such big differences?
One part concerns the organization of defence. We worked on training, trying to set up a slightly different type of organization. We also aimed to push Portugal high enough in the peloton, but if we don’t achieve that, we’ll have to put ourselves in a lower ‘block’. We have a lot of won balls in the high pressure, but when a very direct Portugal manages to overcome this pressure, we sometimes saw that it was a little difficult to manage the speed that they have at the top, continues Sjögren.
But even in the low pressure, the Swede feels the team didn’t get what they wanted.
– We’re getting too impatient. We open up and get no benefit from staying low key and together. But like I said, it’s the start of the collection and we’ve only been here three days. There is obviously potential for improvement, he concludes.
Norway will meet Italy in the second and final opening match of the Algarve Cup next Sunday at 12:00 Norwegian time.