Christian Johnson by LSK / Aalesund

Christian Johnson by LSK / Aalesund

Photo: Christian Mo

It was a very disappointing result against Odd, after a difficult second half. Johnson himself sums up the match as follows:

The first round against Odd was good. It is very similar to the Rosenborg Match in many ways. Two teams fighting each other, and we have many directions in our game, without getting the biggest chances. We’re often in and around the 16-metre area, and we get a few set-pieces. We are very unhappy with the start of the second half, which means we will end up on defense. We stress ourselves a bit in the second half in terms of how we want to play. This gives Odd plenty of space in the last half hour.

– We’re evolving when it comes to movements in the final third and the relationship between the backrunner, the edge and the inside, but it’s getting better and better. Strictly speaking, we should be able to punish Odd there on a couple of occasions when we are in what we call the “help zone”, as many times as we are. We need more quality on the penultimate pass and the end.

The transfer window opens on August 1, and the club has been aware of players entering.

– We will build the team of the future, and then there are future players who will be suitable for AaFK. We also have players in our squad and we have a lot of faith in them, but we are constantly looking at the possibility of complementing that. We are going in the direction we are going.

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Markus Karlsbakk played with Johnsen at Raufoss during his loan spell the previous two seasons, and made great strides. This season, he’s made a name for himself at a higher level, particularly showing his attacking qualities lately.

Marcus managed to drive for two years for Raufoss. He can withstand hard training and has taken steps along the way, and he’s taken another step now that he’s back in Ålesund. He has more strength in his game now and has a very good ability to position wisely in and around the opponent’s box. Not least, he also has great finishing skills, but both right and left. Karlsbakk is still young and developing very well.

Two other guys who have done well recently are Nikolaj Houpland and Simone Faten Haram, who reached the semi-finals with Norway during this summer’s G19 EC.

– Hopland is an established player for us, he has gained a lot of experience. Still a ‘rookie’ in the A team, Simen has seen an impressive development. The management of the national team has shown that they also have a lot of faith in him, and he has gained a lot of confidence there and he has taken good care of it. It’s impressive what he’s done despite being fairly new to football at this level.

Before LSK, he was clear about what he wanted to see from his players:

We want to see more energy in the team. I think there was a little bit going there against Odd. We have to be adults in our game because there is no doubt that Lilleström are an adult team, in all that they stand for. He goes into a dead ball game and a dueling game, which becomes important here.

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