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Interviews

"The knowledge and experience we had last year will help us this time"

Christian Nørgaard previews Monday's Play-Off First Leg

14 May 2021

Ahead of Monday's Play-Off Semi-Final First Leg trip to AFC Bournemouth, Christian Nørgaard spoke to the media earlier this afternoon. The Bees' Danish international discussed form going into the Play-Offs, the benefits of having a spot sewn up with weeks to spare, and assessed the threat that The Cherries will pose. Watch the press conference below.

Christian on AFC Bournemouth …

There will be some recent footage we can use but we know that Play-Off games, and knockout games, work in a different way. We are facing a very good team; a team that has been in the Premier League for many years. We know that we need to be on our A-game to get a good result here. We are playing a top, top side who have a lot of Premier League experience. They have players who are made for the big games but we are confident, not just from beating Bournemouth, but from a really good run recently. We have won a lot of games recently which, for me, is a lot more important than thinking about former fixtures against Bournemouth.

Christian on Play-Off preparations …

The last couple of weeks have been less stressful compared to last year. We have had more time to settle and get our heads around what is coming up instead of going straight in from a last game that we lost against Barnsley. It was quite hard to come back from seeing West Bromwich Albion drawing against QPR but we still managed to do it. Our preparation has been really good; it has been a bit calmer around the training ground. We’ve been able to work on different systems in games towards the Play-Offs. It has been important, not only for me, but for the whole group to switch off and spend time with the family before the final days of preparation. The team is in a really good place right now and we can’t wait to get going.

Christian on last year’s experiences …

When it comes to Play-Off games, and in particular big games, you are talking about very small margins. It is an easy reason to give that people didn’t sleep well or were nervous [last season], which might have been the case for some players, but we did really well in the two games against Swansea City. We played a fantastic home game and went into the final where we conceded a goal in the hundred and something minute. They were very small margins that could have turned to our advantage last year. They didn’t but I think the knowledge and experience we had last year will help us this time.

Christian on recent form …

It is two one-off cup games. I can only talk from our behalf and I think that we have built up momentum that will give us a certain confidence going into the Play-Off games. Their recent form won’t have any influence because they have professional and good players who are ready for big games. We’ve been looking good in these knockout games. We did it last year in the Play-Off semi-finals and in the League Cup as well. Hopefully it will give us a bit of an edge coming into these knockout games. It is a bit more random than that but hopefully we can use that experience and when it comes to it, it will give us a small edge.

Christian on this season …

The mentality in this group is very strong and even a hard defeat like last season couldn’t shake us that much. It was just a new beginning with a short holiday in between. What has been most impressive this season is that, for a majority of the season, some of our key players from last season have been out with injuries, including myself. The players who have stepped in, like Vitaly Janelt, Ivan Toney, and young players like Mads Bech, have been amazing this season. We have to give big credit to them for stepping in whenever it’s been needed.

Christian on making up for lost time …

You do see the team in a different way from when you are in there as a player. I hope this time around it will be an advantage for me having had such a big time out. It will give me that extra energy coming into the final bit now where some other players will be a bit tired at the end of a very long season where they’ve played every three days. Hopefully, I can bring that extra energy onto some of the other guys who have played a lot this year.


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