BRATISLAVA (VG) No one sprints faster than Kevin Gulliksen (25) in the German Bundesliga. But in the European Championships, the lightning wing has scored only a single counterattack goal. Ahead of the Poland match on Thursday, the players will have a change.
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The Oslo boy is registered with a top speed of 32.08 km / h the tracking to the Bundesliga this season.
– It’s something I expect from myself. I still have a bit to go on. But it’s a nice title to have, says Gulliksen who casts in quick goals for Göppingen in Germany.
The Norwegian right wing has scored 88 goals this season and surpasses Kiel stars Sander Sagosen (69) and Harald Reinkind (65). Now the full-back duo will have several quick goals by Gulliksen and the rest of the edges.
– Our whole key is to start the counterattack phase. We are going up against strong physical layers. We need the simple goals, Sagosen describes.
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– It will mean extremely much to us that we do not have to step up in every attack, but get some of the simple goals. It loses strength when we have to play many long attacks, says Reinkind, who scored several quick goals in the so-called arrival phase against Lithuania.
The counterattack steamed on when Norway took two World Cup silver and European Championship bronze from 2017 to 2020. But the handball boys’ speed has dropped significantly. According to European Championship statistics, Norway scored only six clean counter-attacks in the group stage.
– We have had some problems with the counterattacks. A couple of years ago, this was one of the things we were best at. But we are betting that it will loosen up. It does something psychic to know that we can counter simple goals, says Kevin Gulliksen.
Now he hopes to be able to share playing time with Kristian Bjørnsen when the main round kicks off against Poland on Thursday and Germany on Friday.
– Maybe it is possible to take one day each. Then we will see how the performances are, says Gulliksen who has put seven of eight shots against Lithuania and Slovakia in the European Championships. In the loss against Russia, he did not get the chance.
– He is faster with the ball than without. Gulliksen is equipped with drumsticks, describes Harald Reinkind.
– It’s about genes, but also a trait you get a lot of use for in my position on the field. So it is also something I have trained a lot on, says Kevin Gulliksen. He grew up in the Oslo club Oppsal together with the national team «Diego», Sander Øverjordet.
– I am fast on distances between 10 and 20 meters, but on a 60-meter I think more on the national team are faster than me, he adds. Gulliksen has registered three of the 10 fastest sprints in the Bundesliga this season.
– It is also a bit about timing, reading the possibilities and knowing when to “go”. But the speed of the first meters has a lot to say, describes Gulliksen who also has a specialty in using the speed to recover balls in return to his own goal.
Sander Sagosen reminds that the European Championship surprise The Netherlands has beaten the host nation Hungary at speed.
– It is inspiring to see. The Netherlands does not have the great physique, but still manages well with many counter-attacks, he says.