Norway bring in Lagerback
Lars Lagerback has been appointed as Norway's new head coach, the country’s FA confirmed on Wednesday.
Lagerback, whose previous international coaching jobs include Sweden, Nigeria and Iceland, replaces Per-Mathias Hogmo who stepped down from his post in November.
Boasting a coaching career that spans across five decades, Lagerback guided Sweden to two consecutive FIFA World Cups™ – Korea/Japan 2002 and Germany 2006 – before taking charge of Nigeria at South Africa 2010.
While the Swede narrowly missed out on a place at Brazil 2014 with Iceland, the 68-year-old, along with co-manager Heimir Hallgrimsson, took Iceland to their first major tournament by qualifying for UEFA EURO 2016, where the spirited minnows won the hearts of football supporters across the world by storming to the quarter-finals against the odds.
"It feels very exciting," Lagerback said on the Norway FA’s official Twitter account. "I never closed any doors. If Iceland can do it, so can Norway. It's about getting players who I can believe in. In qualification, we're in a difficult situation, but there's a chance we can make second place, and hopefully the play-off."
Norway, who last featured at the World Cup at France 1998, currently occupy fifth spot in Group C of UEFA qualifying for Russia 2018, having won just one of their opening four games. Currently placed 84th in the FIFA/Coca World Ranking, Norway next face Northern Ireland in World Cup qualifying on 26 March.