Sweden national team manager Erik Hamren is not pleased that his side failed to get a direct spot to Euro 2016 in France.
Sweden finished third in Group G with 18 points, 10 points behind group winners Austria and two points behind second-placed Russia. Sweden will have to go the the qualification playoff to try and get a place in the tournament.
“The feeling today is one of irritation that we didn’t get a direct spot to Euro 2016,” Hamren told Sportbladet. “I’m thinking about the game against Russia.
“We had a poor first half, but a good second half. We created chances, and I’m especially thinking about Emil Forsberg’s shot when the goalkeeper made a world-class save. It will sting a few days, but then all the focus will be on the playoff.”
Hamren’s contract expires next summer, but he didn’t want to speculate if he could be on his way out early if Sweden doesn’t qualify for the tournament.
“No, there’s no point in speculating,” Hamren said. Our goal is the get to Euro 2016.”
The drawing for the qualification playoff is on Sunday, and Hamren will be traveling to Switzerland for the draw. Hamren said that having prior experience of a qualification playoff could help the Swedes. Sweden were knocked out in the qualification playoff for World Cup 2014 by Portugal.
“I couldn’t tell exactly what kind of advantage it gives, but it always good to have experience,” Hamren said. “It’s an advantage to have done it before. We know that the margins are very small, and that it’s about minimizing the mistakes. We saw that against Portugal at home.”