After a very hectic match program in May and at the beginning of June, the Hødd players had a few days off last week to recharge their batteries. Several weeks of matches both in the middle of the week and on the weekends meant that the time on the training field was largely used for pre-match preparation and recovery, but in connection with the fact that there has been a national team break, the coaches and players now finally get a little more time on the field.
– It has been very hectic and now we finally get a whole week of training before the match. It’s great, we get to train well and can have training sessions where we get to play and compete quite a lot, instead of thinking so much about tactics before the next match. Then we can work more on our style of play and our own principles, and then we will have a few good days before the Bryne game, says Hødd coach Joakim Dragsten.
He is 12 games into his first season as head coach in the 1st division. It happens for a team that has not played in the Obosligaen since 2016. So far, the result is that Hødd has taken 14 points in 12 games and has three wins.
Dragsten believes the meeting with the Obosliga has largely gone as Hødd had expected.
– Yes, we meet well-prepared teams every single week and there is a big difference from the 2nd division. The team we face takes great care of our strengths and plays hard against it, and then we have to be good enough to handle it.
Dragsten also believes that the matches in the Obosliga have a life of their own, regardless of whether you meet the team at the top or in last place in the table.
– It’s a war from zero to 90 minutes anyway. We were prepared for that, but it may have been even more extreme than I thought. Otherwise, our weekday is pretty much the same as it was last year. It is mainly the counterplay and the surrounding frames that are much more and larger, says Dragsten.
– To be completely honest, I think we have been paid a little poorly.
Dragsten believes there have been several matches where Hødd has earned more than the points the team has been sitting on.
– Behind the results, I also think that performances have gone up and that my own game has improved. The defense has actually worked well from the start, with a couple of games where it has slipped a bit. But that is almost to be expected in this league, because it is difficult to maintain the same concentration in all matches, for a hundred minutes. We are human and things can slip up a bit now and then.
The conclusion from Dragsten is thus that he sees gradually better performances from Hødd and that he thinks the team has got somewhat fewer points than they deserved. At the same time, he does not hide the fact that there are also matches where Hødd has been well paid, without creating too much.
Now both the coaches and the players have had some time to rest, and now more time for training. It hopes Dragsten will be used to create development in its own games.
– We wish to an even greater extent to get the campaigns into our track. Then I don’t just think about defending ourselves, but also about the pace of the matches and the way we attack. A little too often we are still there that we have to attack in the way that the opponents allowed. If they give you a lot of space at the back and press high, you often have to counter a part and focus on that, while as against Sandnes Ulf, when we suddenly got a lot of space between them, we can use longer attacks.
Dragsten says that he wants a team that can manage this to a greater extent by itself and that itself sees the premises for the campaigns.
– But at the level we are at, with the teams we meet, the coaches and the opposing players, it is a bit like that and as newly promoted we may have to adjust a bit based on what opportunities we get. At the same time, I think we have been good at foreseeing how the matches would turn out, says Dragsten.
The coach adds that the match they have “missed” the most was the away meeting with Sandnes Ulf.
– Then we probably expected less time with the ball than we got, but still ended up dictating a lot of the play on the pitch, without particularly creating chances. We hadn’t quite expected that and I think the players were also surprised that we had the ball so much. Otherwise, we feel that we have hit pretty well, says Dragsten.