Rosenborg ready for 'action, noise and fun' at Tynecastle after getting Norwegian FA's backing against Hearts

League break gives Trondheim side a vital breather
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Rosenborg arrived in Edinburgh on Wednesday fresh from a weekend break in the Norwegian Eliteserien as they prepare to face Hearts in the Europa Conference League third qualifying round second leg. Interim coach Svein Maalen said he expects a tumultuous atmosphere at Tynecastle Park, but stressed his team are not here simply to defend their 2-1 first-leg advantage.

“I expect a very offensive opponent. I expect a lot of action, noise, fun, from the stadium. I expect us to try and repeat our performance from last Thursday,” he stated. “We will try to win, have a good performance and learn quickly. We have some injuries, a little bit of fatigue in some players, so there could be some changes.

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“We know it’s a very loud and noisy atmosphere. We want to enjoy it but it’s also a skill to handle it. It’s a good test for us and good to learn with such a young squad. We have experience of a lot of noise in some crowds but maybe not so much with this culture at this level.

“Especially at the start, maybe Hearts will be more direct than in the first half at Lerkendal. It’s their home pitch. I don’t know if I should say so much more. It’s about attitude and mindset because, if we think we only need to counter-attack, we could be a bit defensive in our heads. It’s not good if Hearts always have the ball. We also need to attack and take control of the game with the ball.”

Norwegian Football Association and Norwegian league officials agreed to give Rosenborg a free weekend to help them beat Hearts. They were due to face Brann but that game was rescheduled weeks ago. “We have had a very hard programme for many weeks now so it was important to get the weekend off,” said Maalen. “We played two games a week for some weeks.

“It’s a thing we want to do in Norway. Who has the most advantage, I don’t know. Fortunately, we have a democratic league system and an FA that listens to the clubs. A lot of Norwegian clubs never participate in Europe and we need them to support the best teams to get this chance.”

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Carlo Holse, Rosenborg’s Danish midfielder, admitted being slightly surprised by Hearts in last week’s first leg. He insisted there is no tiredness in the visiting camp ahead of Thursday evening. “I don't think we are tired but we have played a lot of games so of course we are going to feel some fatigue. I've had that before in Copenhagen and in my first period here so I'm perfectly fine.

Rosenborg interim coach Svein Maalen and midfielder Carlo Holse. Pic: National WorldRosenborg interim coach Svein Maalen and midfielder Carlo Holse. Pic: National World
Rosenborg interim coach Svein Maalen and midfielder Carlo Holse. Pic: National World

“I thought Hearts were a more physical team than I expected. They have good offensive players and good at set-pieces but not a typical Scottish side. I've played for Denmark’s Under-21's here and they were a physical side. We need to be ready for second balls and for set-pieces but I'm not going to expose our whole plan.

“We have 22,000 fans inside our own stadium so we may have a young and inexperienced side but I think it's just going to be fun and we can just enjoy it. You live for these moments, especially with a squad which is so young. It's going to be fun.”