NRK delivered a glowing message from national team manager Ståle Solbakken at the end of the press conference in Rome.
Knutsen smiled broadly – and followed up with a two-plus-minute response.
Glimt’s boss has a lot in mind when it comes to how the team got this far.
There are already many who have left Aspmyra after the success of the past two years. Nevertheless, Bodø/Glimt again and again found replacements.
Either from its own ranks or from outside. The list of players who have struggled before – and succeeded at Bodø – is starting to grow.
– Model use
Ola Solbakken came from relegation team Ranheim in 2020. When Jens Petter Hauge disappeared at AC Milan after a big game against the same club, Solbakken came forward.
This week, Ståle Solbakken trusted his namesake, who became Glimt’s fifth face in the national team this season.
– Bodø / Glimt was a model use. A fantastic job by the coaches and the club. A gift to Norwegian football in recent years, summed up the national coach for NRK.
– It is a stamp that we accept with thanks, replied Kjetil Knutsen in Rome, laughing.
Then he continued with a longer reasoning about how Bodø/Glimt thinks.
Over the last month or so there’s a lot of teams that have been pushed a little bit that “now you have to dare to say you should take the gold, blah blah blah” and then they went off somehow spoken of something that they are not. I think it helps if they change direction or lose focus. Again, we’ve been concerned with building a culture, picking the right guys that fit that culture, and then we have our way of thinking. We don’t talk about results, we talk about accomplishments and we talk about development, says Knutsen.
– It’s not a game, it’s in everyone’s backbone in Bodø/Glimt. I think it releases energy and mental calm to be mentally at your best. It’s a recipe that worked, and we’ll never change that recipe. We want to improve it all the time, Knutsen said.
– Never cheated
Glimt’s coach went on to highlight how every game contains learning, whether it’s Roma at the Stadio Olimpico or a hard-fought game against Sandefjord at home.
Knutsen thinks Glimt could have quickly lost to Sandefjord this weekend if they had started thinking about the results.
NRK asked Knutsen to clarify how he thinks other clubs have lost focus.
– Everything indicates that they did. For example, Kristiansund, which is a hard-working club with an approach of working hard every day. I think it worked very well for them. But when they suddenly had to talk about membership… I think you (the press, newspaper. Editor’s note) made them change direction, and I think that’s never wise. Especially when things are going well, I think it’s important to have a clear focus and direction. It sounds boring and there are a lot of opinions about it, but I think we at Glimt have been very good at keeping a direction, Knutsen said.
– The time has come
With the dramatic 3-2 win over Haugesund, Kristiansund were three points behind Bodø/Glimt in September after 19 rounds in a streak.
The players and coach Christian Michelsen were offensive in the press encounter, and the KBK side made it clear that they should now be considered medal contenders.
Six games later, Kristiansund have a victory (against Rosenborg), and Kristiansunderne took five points against Bodø/Glimts 16.
– We felt it was time to be a bit tough on the face outside as well. Our internal goals and expectations have always been hairy and high. We can certainly argue whether we lost something trying to go for something, but we felt it was just with an offensive attitude at the time, Michelsen told NRK.
He stresses that Kristiansund’s main objective will always be to collect 35 points as quickly as possible.
– When we have those points and are in a peloton at the top of the Elite Series, it’s great to be mentioned and be part of the conversation as well. It was the first time that we were in a good position. Now we were taken seriously. Then you can talk about whether it’s going beyond the mental, or whether we’re not good enough or the injury situation and so on, but ultimately it’s about earning yourself the final position . We hold on to the values that brought us here today, and that will always be the “DNA” internally at KBK, says Michelsen.
– I think you also have to dare to aim high. For our part, it was not dangerous to shoot him. The culture and values of a hardworking club are at the bottom, even if they don’t have to be reached. This time it doesn’t look like they have been stretched but there are five games left and we will fight until the last game is over, the KBK coach explains.