HomeFitnessSwedish boss Peter Gerhardsson admits being caught on hop by Irish tactics...

Swedish boss Peter Gerhardsson admits being caught on hop by Irish tactics and wonders about Katie McCabe’s fitness


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And he is also prepared for the possibility that Katie McCabe may not be able to play a full 90 minutes after the Irish camp admitted she was suffering from “fatigue” after Friday’s game.

“That’s one thing. If she starts, maybe she doesn’t play 90 minutes. Is that good? Yeah? If she doesn’t start, comes in the last 30 minutes, maybe that’s not good. You never know. But you have to take care of it.

“It’s one thing you don’t really know about the squad, what they do, how the fitness is in their group. As a coach, it’s always discussed that we always talk about the starting 11 but also who will be the finishing 11.

“Having a plan to bring someone in for the last 15 minutes. The finishing 11 is rarely talked about. We do this when that happens, or that when this happens.”

Gerhardsson’s side comfortably despatched the Irish but suffered a difficult start to the game as they were confronted with a dramatic, front-footed change in the home side’s tactics.

Swedish coach walks into a cupboard

For the first time since promotion from the Nations League second tier, Eileen Gleeson put two strikers up front and Gerhardsson admitted his side were taken aback by the sudden formation change.

Once more expressing his enthusiasm for Dublin band Sprints – he bought their latest album in Dublin and has devoured it five times already – he is hoping for a faster start from his side in the Friends Arena tomorrow.

“They were pressing really high and we weren’t ready for that in a technical phase, so we had some problems when we were trying to play out,” said Gerhardsson, who was also slightly displeased by a Friends Arena surface rutted by a Taylor Swift trilogy here a fortnight ago. Safe to say, he didn’t attend any of her shows.

“But then, after 15 minutes and then with our first goal, we started growing into the game and the transition was the way we won the game. But it was a physical game.

“We will see what happens now because this is modern football as a coach. You change players and you change formation, change the way to play.

“Sometimes you don’t know before you are starting the game, maybe an hour before you see their starting11 and you may have an idea. Or when you look at the warm-up, you may be thinking, ‘Ah, she will be playing there.’

“So I think it is interesting. It’s not like the old days when everybody plays 4-4-2. This modern thinking, I like it.

“We didn’t know they were going to press like that. Tomorrow, if they were pleased with the first half, or 50 minutes, maybe they will go the same way again.

“You never know who might be ready, what subs can you have, who will start. That’s one thing you never know and then there may be tactical things of one of your players is missing.

“We will see, as coaches or players, we are not so worried that we don’t know everything about the other team. We know all we know and then when the game starts and they start playing, we will maybe see what we have to do.

“We had to win in Dublin and now we have to win again. We are not satisfied with a draw. You have to take care of one game. I can’t plan two games in my head, although this is not usual, to play the same team twice in five days.

“Fitness is one thing, tactics are another. You never know with coaches, they’re thinking I have to be smart or do you trust the players? I trust the players. I’m not smart!”

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