Swedish head coach Pia Sundhage upbeat after a mixed Algarve Cup

The Swedish coach talks to VAVEL about rotation and flair.

Swedish head coach Pia Sundhage upbeat after a mixed Algarve Cup
(Image: Visionhaus via GettyImages)

Swedish head coach Pia Sundhage was upbeat after a mixed Algarve Cup for the Swedes as she spoke to VAVEL about Sweden's four-goal drubbing of Russia and the upcoming Euros.

Sundhage on Sweden's flair and rotation

Not known for being an open and attacking side, Sweden’s 4-0 win, over a usually defensively resolute side, shows that the blue and yellows have the ability to get in and hurt teams.

I think we had a pretty good game, eventually we scored those goals we were looking for for the while tournament and a very good start, I think this game showed that we have some speed at top and the way we attacked we showed we can be fairly dangerous behind the opponents back-line.

With the nature of the tournament – four games in eight days – other coaches have used the Algarve Cup to rotate and freshen their squad, while Sundhage fielded a very similar starting XI for three of the four matches. Starting with a more experience pack and substituting throughout the games was her methodology.

We have rotated because there are four games in a short amount of time but also the balance between putting a team together, we had pretty much the same starting line-up  but we had to take out some of the players so if you look today – I would love to see Caroline Seger play the whole game or the last game but you have to put it in consideration that it’s tough, it’s a tough week for them but instead of looking at 90 minutes we have some good players out there and the way we want to attack and defender and they can take out those situations you know, bring them up when you need to.”

Sundhage upbeat and looking forward to the Euros

Having dominated some games or halves it was at times frustrating watching Sweden, the team not smooth in attack so we asked Sundhage if she was happy with the amount of creativity coming out of midfield.

Yes, a little bit, still I think there is a little bit, the balance between playing that *big* ball or keep the ball, keep possession, sooner or later I think we’ll find the balance. Right now I’m really happy with the way we defend, we’re not winning the ball all the time in the back four, but sometimes in the middle of the park also. I think that is something we need to continue to improve but the big issue, the thing we’re looking to the most is the attack, the flair and that’s the hardest part of the game.

With the Euros set to kick-off in four months, fans are going to be treated to a familiar match-up when Sweden go head-to-head with Germany in the group stages and the veteran coach is taking nothing for granted.

We’re really looking forward to the Euros, of course and we know – back in the good old days, there was maybe three of four teams who could win the European Championship. Today it’s totally different, I think we’re in a tough group, and of course we’ve got a game against the best team in the world in Germany," she laughed, "But it’s great that we will be up against team who play in different styles and the last game is against Italy, hopefully we come through and get to the knock-outs and then you never know what will happen.”

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