SWEDEN head coach Janne Andersson has explained why he snubbed Carl Starfelt before the 3-0 World Cup qualifying win over Kosovo at the weekend.
The Celtic central defender was left on the substitutes’ bench with Alex Milosevic taking his place in the heart of the rearguard.
Starfelt, 26, who is taking time to settle into the Hoops backline following his £4.2million arrival from Russian outfit Rubin Kazan in July, has recently returned to the international scene after failing to get a place in the squad for the Euro 2020 Finals in the summer.
Andersson admitted he reckoned 29-year-old Milosevic was a better option to cope with pressure if the Swedes were pushed onto the backfoot against the Kosovans.
SHOOTING STAR…Carl Starfelt fires in a right-foot shot against Bayer Leverkusen with Kyogo Furuhashi waiting to pounce.
The Swedish boss, speaking to local media outlet Fotbollskanalen, said: “What we lose a little without Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a main player who can be decisive in situations if we get pressure on us at the end of a match or have to force forward.
“You want players who are very good main players. What made me choose Alex before Carl is his main game status. If I had chosen a player from the start based on their entrance to the squad, Starfelt would have played.
“But when it came to the question of having a centre-back on the bench, I felt that Milosevic is very good in his head if we were to come under pressure towards the end or had to chase a goal.
“So, my thoughts went there.”
Starfelt, who has won only four full caps for his country, will be hoping Andersson has a different outlook as he prepares his squad for tomorrow night’s home tie against Greece.