Molde coach Erling Moe (51) has learned that footballers believe he has a challenge to keep the entire squad out of European matches. He thinks the squad couldn’t have been smaller.
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– I do not know if it is a truth that has emerged because everyone is talking about it. With injuries as of today, we only have 18 men available. It is not as troublesome as all other coaches should have it; that we have a whole high school here. We’re where we should be, Moe strikes back.
It is true that he would like to be elsewhere: in a European group match. But Molde never managed to create a sequel to last season’s impressive European story.
So there will be no German, Spanish or English opposition in Molde in the future, but Vålerenga in Sunday’s Norwegian TV game, then Bryne in the cup. Until the end of the season, there are 13 games in 13 weeks, and then Moe, for example, will juggle ten midfielders at up to five spots on the team.
But he doesn’t want it to be a problem, although he admits that the stable is built for European Cup matches.
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– It’s not my job to keep everyone happy in terms of playing time. This is how to do the best sports. But it is in my job that people are treated with respect, so that they thrive in the environment, even if they chew on it. To win something, you have to bring the team with you, says Moe.
– What is the best; An almost fixed eleven with few adjustments for the expected match and opponent image, or a lot of rotation to keep everyone “happy” and to be able to surprise the opponent in the team selection?
– An alternative is not relevant. A team is never removed from the wellness factor, but what you feel is the right thing to do. The only thing that matters is three points. If you are in school and you win soccer games, it is much easier to shoot. Then keep floating. When you lose soccer games, I think it is more important to keep a student. So the uncertainty does not come, believes the technician of the Mold.
He lost the national team trio Stian Gregersen (Bordeaux) and Fredrik Aursnes and Marcus Holmgren Pedersen (Feyenoord), but kidnapped the prestigious signing Sivert Mannsverk from Sogndal, and brought in Martin Linnes and Rafik Zekhnini (can get a place against Vålerenga) of a stay abroad.
– There will be some difficult messages every time. I’m glad there are five exchanges and not three, so we can make better use of them. It is the response of those who enter that counts. And if there’s no form of competition there, how long can you hang on to the rest and develop players? Asks Moe.
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– But is it hard to imagine that a “star buy” like Mannsverk and a player like Magnus Eikrem are out of the team if they are injury free?
– It depends on them. They don’t have cut cards, but they are good players and will play a lot in the fall, that’s a natural thing, says Moe.
He travels to Oslo as the league leader after Mjøndalen’s 4-0 loss in the last round after three straight losses before that. Moe admits that they lost their balance a bit in these matches, which became easier for opponents to counter, and does not rule out that they have underestimated the absence of the Aursnes treadmill in the preparations.
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But now the pre-favorite has regained the top of the table, they have adjusted the attacking game to be a bit more progressive and the mutual agreements that remain against the other six main teams: Bodø / Glimt, Rosenborg, Viking and Lillestrøm: will take place at the Aker Stadium.
– It will not be an advantage until we do the work in all the other games, believes the coach of Molde.
– How do you think Glimt manages to play alongside Europe?
– It is always exciting and for them it is something new. I am quite Norwegian there – I hope we understand very well that it is incredibly important for Norwegian football that we have teams that compete in group games. Contribute to quantum advancements and development. They get to breathe every now and then, so I hope they do well, and then we can hope they don’t do so well on the show, says Erling Moe with a smile.