Not even Åge Hareide’s wife will be allowed to disturb the manager before Swedish side Malmö's champion league game against Red Bull Salzburg.
Malmö manager Åge Hareide. Photo: Conny Sillén / NTB scanpix
Malmö and Salzburg meet on Tuesday in Austria for the first leg of the last qualifying round of the Champions League.
Hareide wanted full focus on the match and he told Expressen: “I have even sent my wife home so that I can be in peace while I prepare for the match. She was thrown out and went to the mountains in Norway. In cases like this, I go into a bubble and spend a lot of time on the minutiae.”
Salzburg won last season’s Austrian league comfortably. This year, they got off to a perfect start wth victories in their first five games.
But Malmö fancy their chances. Hareide said: “I have found weaknesses in the competition. We will take advantage.”
The former Norway national team manager said he has spent a lot of his time getting to know Salzburg.
“It's all about discovering where we can punish them. Should we stay behind, waiting for counter-attacks? Should we use players who can be dangerous in attack? Should we prioritize air strength or quick feet? There are many opportunities,” Hareide pondered.
Hareide, who retired from coaching before Malmö contacted him in autumn last year, said a good result in Austria will give the fans belief in Champions League football this season.
In the last qualifying round, Malmö lost 2-4 away against Sparta Prague, but qualified on away goals after a 2-0 victory at home in the return leg.
The Malmö coach said: “If we get a good result away, we will fill the stadium at home. The feeling from the home match against Prague, with the light blue wall. I have never been in heaven, but I guess this is how it feels.”