Norway’s high-flying women’s national football team has been literally psyching up after crash-landing Monday night with a humiliating 8-0 loss against England at the ongoing European Women’s Championships on England’s home turf. They met and spoke with a top psychologist for hours afterwards, as they tried to recover and gear up for their next and hopefully not last match later this week.
“She’s very important,” team captain Maren Mjelde told reporters when referring to the late-night conversations with Britt Tajet-Foxell, who has helped some of Norway’s most well-known sports stars. Mjelde otherwise claimed the team stands firmly behind their head coach, Martin Sjögren, and said that “everyone feels responsibility for what happened against England.”
It was the worst result ever for the Norwegians, and has since been branded as “embarrassing” and “shameful” by sports commentators. “Historic humiliation” was the headline in Oslo newspaper Dagsavisen, while Aftenposten claimed Sjögren and his fellow coaches “totally let down” fans and players who include some of the best in the world, like Ada Heberberg (Lyon) and Caroline Graham Hansen (Barcelona).
Sjögren said he had no intention of resigning, claiming that would be “cowardly.” Instead, he said, the team simply must “work very hard to turn this around.” They needed to do that before meeting the Austrian team Friday night. If they tie or lose, Norway won’t make it into the quarter-finals and will be out of the championships. “We just need to focus on ourselves,” Hansen told reporters on Tuesday before the team got back to work.