Soccer-It's so easy to watch games backwards - Denmark's Hjulmand


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Euro 2024 - Group C - Slovenia v Denmark - Stuttgart Arena, Stuttgart, Germany - June 16, 2024 Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand during the national anthems before the match REUTERS/Lee Smith/File Photo

(Reuters) - Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand was roundly criticised back home for his substitutions in the team's disappointing 1-1 draw with Slovenia in their Euro 2024 Group C opener, but the coach hit back on Monday.

Having taken the lead through Christian Eriksen in the 17th minute, the Danes looked to be tiring before Slovenia grabbed a 77th-minute equaliser and Hjulmand's team lacked the energy to find a winner on Sunday.

"Let's say I'd substituted earlier, and then they scored - then I'd be asked why I made changes to a team that was working well," Hjulmand told reporters at the team's base in Freudenstadt.

"It's so easy to watch football matches backwards, (but) you never get the answer to what would have happened if you'd done something differently. Sometimes changes work, sometimes they don't," Hjulmand added.

The Danes had several chances to make it 2-0 before Slovenia's equaliser, but the coach did not agree with the assessment that his side dominated the first half before wilting.

"I have looked through the period leading up to their goal and there was nothing in the sun, the moon or the stars to suggest that they had gained the upper hand - all the statistics showed that we had the upper hand," Hjulmand said.

With the Danes facing on England on Thursday, defender Joachim Andersen had blunt advice for Danish fans who were critical of the team.

"I would like to say that people need to relax and be a bit more positive, we have another game and we have to look forward to it now. Everything is open," Andersen told reporters.

(Reporting by Philip O'Connor, editing by Ed Osmond)

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