Monday, May 16

Christian O’Sullivan is looking for the European Championship form: – Unsure

BRATISLAVA (VG) He has been unfriendly with the ball in two games in a row. Christian O’Sullivan (30) goes to his own handwritten book to find the European Championship form ahead of the meeting with Poland on Thursday.

WORK TO DO: Christian O’Sullivan is one of those who must rise for Norway to reach the semifinals.

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The Norwegian captain believes he has found his personal recipe before the matches in the main round.

– Now it’s mostly about making things easy. Do not be too thoughtful and just do what feels natural, O’Sullivan believes after moving over 400 km by bus from Košice to the capital Bratislava in Slovakia.

The playmaker was missing when the national team was assembled in November. He has had a very good autumn for Bundesliga leader Magdeburg, but there O’Sullivan plays most defense, drives the counterattacks, but does not get much time in attack.

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– I have not played with the national team since the Olympics. I notice that the interaction is not sitting. I have become a little insecure and others have taken more responsibility. It is not a lucky combination when I am responsible for setting up the game, says O’Sullivan who has scored a single goal in the first three European Championship matches.

– I’m not happy with how I have played. Now I get to “reset” in the intermission, but I brought with me a good experience from the second half against Lithuania, he says.

– What tricks do you use when it’s buttery?

– I like to write things down and see myself on video. I see many things that characterize me when I am not so good, he says.

Ever since his youth, O’Sullivan has made his own notes after both good and weak fights. The last few days have written over an A4 page in the book that has become a kind of handball bible for him.

He keeps coming back to it.

– I like to have my thoughts written down to be able to go back to them. I look at what has characterized me as good and what does not match. I also have lists of what I should think about to make things easy, he explains

– I talk a lot with the others about what it’s like to play with me right now. There are a number of things about “timing” that do not sit and it has to get better now in the intermission, Christian O’Sullivan thinks.

DOUBLE TEAM FRIENDS: Christian O’Sullivan (right) and Magnus Gullerud play together for both Norway and Magdeburg.

– We play two different systems in Magdeburg and on the national team. I know it well myself as a string player. I have to readjust. I can not imagine that it is anything easier for Christian as a fullback, says Magnus Gullerud. He plays with O’Sullivan on both club and national teams.

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– When it is so much different, it is understandable that it can weed a little. But he is very good at just continuing to work. I think he delivered well against Lithuania and can build on that, says Gullerud who has not dominated much with his six goals in the three matches in the group stage.

– We must absolutely lift ourselves from the group game. If not, there will at least not be a semi-final, Christian O’Sullivan believes before the matches against Poland, Germany, Spain and Sweden. With a victory in all matches, Norway is guaranteed to go to the semifinals on 28 January.

– We have not delivered as we want, but I am starting to see the contours of the team we are going to be, says the Norwegian captain.

The Olympic end was tough for Christian O’Sullivan in Tokyo.

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