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Denmark coach says ’emotions high’ for must-win World Cup clash

Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand. Photo: Natalia Kosenikova/AFP

Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand admitted on Tuesday that “emotions are very, very high” for their must-win World Cup clash against a dogged Australia.

With holders France already qualified for the last 16 from Group D, Australia are in pole position to join them in the knockout rounds with three points from two games.

Going into the final round of Group D games on Wednesday, Denmark are third and Tunisia fourth, both with one point.

Euro 2020 semi-finalists Denmark must beat Australia and hope Tunisia do not do likewise against France if they are to extend their stay in Qatar.

Hjulmand said “everyone is ready” and he has no fitness concerns, but he conceded the pressure is on for a team who had been expected prior to the tournament to progress along with France.

“It is a World Cup so emotions are very, very high and football is wonderful — with football you can multiply your feelings by 10, the fear of losing is (also) very, very much involved.

“How can we best handle that? These considerations you have to make.”

Denmark were held 0-0 by Tunisia in their opener and then lost 2-1 to a Kylian-Mbappe inspired France to leave them in deep trouble.

Hjulmand knows that the pressure is on, but he backed his players to handle it.

“Of course there is pressure,” said the 50-year-old.

“(But) these players are very, very used to big games and the more experience you have of these kinds of events, from maybe feeling the pressure, you feel pride.

“It is a dream since you were a kid and now you are actually in a position where you can go out and play football for something.

“It is privilege.”

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