Saturday, November 27

Denmark is not helpless against England, says coach Kasper Hjulmand | Euro 2020


Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand has said he doesn’t like the underdog tag his team has been given ahead of the Euro 2020 semi-final against England at Wembley.

The 49-year-old admitted that England have a very good team, but he does not see his team as underdog or inferior in any way to their opponents. “We are in a phase now with the national team where we are moving away from being the underdog all the time,” he said.

“We try to take the initiative no matter who our opponents are. We try to be proactive and score goals. I don’t like the underdog mentality. Our mentality is not like that of a loser. Our goal is to create chances and attack. We have the mentality that we can go out and beat whoever we are playing. “

Denmark qualified from a group that included Belgium, Russia and Finland and have since beaten Wales and the Czech Republic to reach the semi-final. They played their home group matches at Parken Stadium and Hjulmand knows English players will benefit from home support on Wednesday, but said it comes with added pressure.

“There is a lot of pressure on the English team compared to us. We can and will seize this opportunity with everything we have. They will be helped by the fans, but there is also enormous pressure on them because everyone expects them to beat us ”.

He also challenged the Danish fans who will be in the stadium to be heard. “With thousands of Danish fans living here [in the UK] I am sure we will listen to them. We encourage you to be as loud as possible. We firmly believe that it will be difficult for England to beat us. “

Hjulmand reported that the entire team is available to be selected for the game and thanked everyone at home who supported them throughout the tournament. “We are happy to go to Wembley to play a semi-final. It’s like a dream come true, for me and for the players. That’s why you start playing soccer.

Denmark's Mikkel Damsgaard hopes to be the first to break England's defense at Euro 2020.
Denmark’s Mikkel Damsgaard hopes to be the first to break England’s defense at Euro 2020. Photograph: Naomi Baker / Reuters

“We feel the support of our country. It is moving and gives us strength, so thank you very much everyone at home. Now we play against England, they have a very good team and I have a lot of respect for the English Federation and what they have done for several years. I have visited them several times [to see how they work].

“They have done a good job developing players and now they have a good squad with young players. He has recently won the U-17 World Cup and the U-20 World Cup.

“It’s a good team, but we are also a good team and we believe. We believe in ourselves and we are entering this game with enthusiasm. And one thing is clear, we will go out to the field tomorrow and we will give everything we have again ”.

Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel said he is not thinking about preventing football from coming home, asking if he has “ever been home” before adding: “I have not been thinking about what it means to stop England. I have focused on what it will mean for Denmark if we win. “


www.theguardian.com

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