Per-Mathias Høgmo, embattled coach of Norway’s national football team, was pleading for more patience this week after his team failed to win another match over the weekend. This time, though, at least they tied the score.
The match in Oslo between Norway’s and Russia’s national teams ended in a score of 1-1 and followed last week’s bitter loss of 4-0 against France. Høgmo hasn’t gotten off to a very good start as Norway’s new head coach, after controversially being named to succeed Egil “Drillo” Olsen before last year’s end of World Cup qualifying rounds.
In the months since, his national squad has only won once, against Moldova, while tying three matches and losing five. Høgmo’s first qualifying match for the European Championships will be played September 9, against Italy on home turf at Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo. He has a lot of work to do between now and then, observed newspaper Aftenposten, and he knows it.
“We can’t continue to give away goals after just three minutes,” Høgmo claimed, referring to Russia’s one and only goal against Norway that came after three minutes of play on Saturday. Norway eventually scored as well, with the match ending in a 1-1 tie. Høgmo knows his team must get tougher.
“My focus is on what I can contribute so that we’ll get better,” he told reporters after the match. “That’s my responsibility.”