Oren: – He wants to learn

Oren: – He wants to learn

National team manager Gemma Grainger, 41, this week brought out her squad for the first two European Championship qualifiers against Finland (April 5) and the Netherlands (April 9).

This is the second British squad after taking over in January. I achieved two wins in two matches against Croatia with a nice goal difference of 8-0. Now her first match awaits her at Olival Stadium.

From the previous squad against Croatia, Marin Melde, Marija Thorisdottir and Ada Hegerberg were missing due to injuries, while Sin Jensen and Emilie Woldsvik are out with the heat.

– There is no performance and we had to make three changes. She was fired a few weeks ago. This group came very early. I thought we would take it with us, but it came too quickly. The good news is that it will be back soon, Grainger tells Dagbladet.

Injury: Ada Hegerberg is not in the squad for the European Cup qualifiers. Photo: Karina Johansen/NTB
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Following the squad announcement, the Leeds-based coach met the press for a one-on-one interview via Teams.

The 41-year-old got to work closely with the players and get to know them during the previous national team encounter, and this answers questions about the biggest challenge she will face in the future:

The obvious challenge is the European Championship in 2025. Now there will be ten days with the players, and the next challenge is how good these ten days are. I want these players to give their best and work step by step, on and off the field. For me, the challenge is to provide our services consistently.

– Has anything surprised you since you took the job?

– I knew the quality of players we had. During our 10 days in Croatia, it was nice to see this group proud to represent their country. I'm not surprised by anything in particular, but during the time I spent with the players, I learned how passionate they are about playing for Norway. The positive energy and level of training was nice for me. Makes me excited.

England warns

England warns

– You will have learned

There has been a lot of hype around the Norwegian women's national team in recent years, both on and off the field.

This happened, among other things, during last year's World Cup qualifiers, when Norway was eliminated by Japan in the round of 16. Subsequently, internal disturbances were reported from several quarters.

– I can only speak for myself and I see a lot of positives. They are engaged, positive and show energy. I see focused players and I look to the future. Players will have learned from what happened in past tournaments. I know they will provide their services at the highest level,” says Grainger.

– There is a perception that there are some strong personalities in the team. Did you see him?

– I think it's great to have strong personalities in the team. The leadership consists of five players, I inherited it and decided to continue working on it. The expectation when it comes to character and leadership is that everyone can lead. It is a misconception that the more experience you have, the better your ability to drive. The most successful teams have leaders at all levels. I want players to be themselves and be the best version of themselves. “We have characters who can do that and we want to see that,” she replied.

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Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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