Martin Sjögren struggling to see past poor Norway performances

When VAVEL first spoke to Martin Sjögren this year he’d just taken over the vacant managerial role with the Norwegian national team, his positive outlook and plans for the future inspiring.

The former Linköping man joined on the back of a hugely successful year with the current Damallsvenskan champions, his vision for Norway similar to his title winners, the team needing time to grow and adapt.

But two games and two poor performances into Euro 2017 and Sjögren’s head is hanging low, the coach well aware that the football isn’t good enough, unable to see beyond the Netherlands and look to Tokyo.

When reminded of what he’d said about the 2020 Olympics being his main target when he took over, he replied: “That’s a bit far away right now.

Norway boss hoping for a good result against Denmark 

Whilst Norway aren’t in the Netherlands to make up the numbers, they shouldn’t be flagging as they are, as Sjögren admitted.

Right now when the Euros started all the focus was on getting a result here, it’s hard to say we should be at our best in 2020, right now we just want to be at our best at the moment and these two games we haven’t," he admitted.

"Even if I think today is a step forward when you compare it to the first game but right now it’s kind of hard to talk about the future because it feels quite far away.

Mathematically not sunk yet providing they can get a big enough win over their Scandinavian cousins, Denmark and that the team who dealt them their first lost, hosts Netherlands, can see their way to beating their own neighbours, Belgium.

He added: "Now we just have to hope for a good result [against Denmark] so we can still be in the tournament after tonight and if we still have a chance, we’ll do anything we can to grasp that little piece of chance – that’s the focus."