Published: Less than 10 min ago
Seven players on the injury list and only one full centre-back.
Then Jessica Wik, 30, can get an unexpected key role in the important Champions League match away to Benfica.
– I’ve played a few individual matches there, so I can’t say that I’m used to it right away, says Wik.
It is a scrappy champion team that is in Portugal for the Champions League meeting with Benfica. No less than seven players were missing when the team took off south.
– It is unlucky for three of our centre-backs (Athinna Persson Lundgren, Rebecca Knaak, Emma Berglund editor’s note) and Seger, who could have been an alternative, are all gone, says coach Renée Slegers.
Defense general Emma Berglund missed the end of the series and the Champions League meeting with Barcelona. When she can be back on the field is unclear.
– It’s a backside that haunts a little. Definitely not bad, but not great either. We have great matches to look forward to, so it’s a bit stressful, but I hope it will work out, said Berglund when she was last week awarded as the defender of the year in the women’s mallsvenskan.
Knaak got hit against Bayern and Persson Lundgren felt a cut in the groin, but the hope is that she will be able to be back in the game, maybe as early as the home meeting.
That means the only full center back is Guðrún Arnardóttir, but that doesn’t worry the Icelander.
– We will solve that as always. It is an important part for us that we have a large squad with many good players, she says.
“Must take more responsibility”
Before the meeting with Benfica, Rosengård has therefore worked on two alternative emergency solutions. Bianca Schmidt and Jessica Wik. An above position for left back Wik.
– It must have worked well. You play in the position that the coaches want you to play. The biggest challenge is probably that there is much more to controlling other people in there, says Wik.
– If you play with someone who is not so used to playing as a centre-back, you have to control it more, says Arnardóttir.
Do you get an extra important role in fixed situations when you have strong main players like Berglund and Knaak away?
– Maybe I have to take a little more responsibility defensively and offensively so I hope I can score a goal or so. That would be perfectly fine, she laughs.
After two games played, both Rosengård and Benfica are on zero points. An away victory is almost a must if the dream of promotion from the group is to live on.
– It will be important for us to start scoring points in the group. It’s a great time for us to do it now, says Arnardóttir.