Monday 18 December 2017

Faroes boss Olsen wary of Irish backlash after German shambles

Damian Spellman in Torshavn

Faroe IslandS boss Lars Olsen has warned his players to expect an Ireland backlash as Giovanni Trapattoni fights to save his job.

Speculation is mounting that the 73-year-old's days are numbered regardless of what happens at the Torsvollur Stadium tonight, as the FAI sifts through the wreckage of Friday's 6-1 thrashing by Germany.

However, Olsen insists that whatever the disarray within the green ranks in the run-up to what is a must-win affair for the Irish, his team has to be prepared for their response on the pitch.

Asked if he was aware of the pressure under which his opposite number is working, he said: "Yes, of course I know that. When you lose 6-1 at home in a country like Ireland, of course you will be under pressure. We know Ireland are the favourites, as Sweden were, but we will try to do our best.

"The Faroe Islands are a small team and almost every team we are playing against will be the favourites against us. The coach from Ireland, Trapattoni, is a very old guy in the game and I am sure he has told the players, 'Okay, now we start a new game, you have to do your best.'

"I am sure we will have a very tough game."


Olsen, a member of the Denmark team which became European champions in 1992, admitted he was surprised at Ireland's capitulation against the Germans.

He said: "Yes, a little bit, not that Germany won, but 6-1 is a big victory -- or defeat."

Olsen has been in charge of just three games since taking up his new job eight months ago, and has presided over a 2-0 friendly defeat in Iceland, a 3-0 qualifier reverse in Germany and Friday night's near miss against Sweden, when the visitors needed a 75th-minute strike from Zlatan Ibrahimovic to leave Torshavn with the points.

Rogvi Baldvinsson had given the Faroes the lead 12 minutes after the break and it needed Alexander Kacaniklic and Ibrahimovic to dig the Swedes out of a hole.

Olsen is philosophical over his side's chances of making an impact, but is committed to improving his players technically -- tonight's game will be the second played on the newly-laid artificial surface at the national stadium.

Asked about his ambitions, he said: "To be better as a team. I don't look at the results or the points, but to improve ourselves over the next two years, to be more confident with the ball and to come closer to very good results -- and a good result for the Faroes is, of course, to win a match.

"Every game -- and also against Ireland -- when we go on to the pitch, I think we can win."

Irish Independent

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