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Half-time talk transformed holders

Silvia Neid revealed that a stern half-time talk helped her Germany team came from behind to win their semi-final against Norway, whose departing coach Bjarne Berntsen is optimistic for the future.

Goalkeeper Nadine Angerer leads Germany's post-match celebrations
Goalkeeper Nadine Angerer leads Germany's post-match celebrations ©Getty Images

Germany coach Silvia Neid revealed that a stern half-time talk helped her team recover from a goal down versus Norway to win through substitutes Simone Laudehr, Célia Okoyino da Mbabi and Fatmire Bajramaj and reach Thursday's UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ final against England. Norway's Bjarne Berntsen admitted the holders were "too good for us" after the break but, as he prepares to stand down after four years in charge, predicts a bright future.

Silvia Neid, Germany coach
I'm happy with the second-half performance of my team. The players did what we spoke about at half-time and created more pressure down the wings. We're lucky we have such an evenly-balanced squad and that I can bring in different players and we can still be strong. I'm pleased Célia, Simone and Fatmire all scored and I'm just proud of my team. Norway played as we expected them to. They were good at playing long balls and we knew their corners can be very dangerous. We knew everything about them but we just couldn't handle them. I must compliment their coach on how he prepared his team for the game. I knew we could play better in the second half and therefore I was very optimistic.

I told the team at half-time that we urgently have to change things otherwise we would be flying home tomorrow. It's good to know psychologically that we can come from a goal down; the players saw it was getting better and it's a good experience with a view to playing in the final. We have to see who's hurt and who's available for Thursday and then we'll watch our opponents and decide who will play. England have a very good team, they are quick, they are fast and defensively they are very strong. It will be an interesting game.

Bjarne Berntsen, Norway coach
We played a very solid first half and were tremendous defensively. Germany had very few chances and we had one which hit the post so 2-0 would have been a great score for us at half-time but I think they were too good for us in the second half. I am very proud, we've had a great tournament with a young team. The expectation was very low in Norway but now we go home with a bronze medal and when the disappointment goes away, I think we can be very proud of what we have achieved especially after beating Sweden and giving Germany such a hard game.

If we had a kept a clean sheet for about ten minutes more then it would have been more open for us on the counterattack but their goals came very quickly after one another which made it very difficult to come back. We tried and had a great shot from Cecilie Pedersen and also had a chance at the end but they hit us on the counter and scored. Whether it's 2-1 or 3-1 doesn't matter, what matters is that we tried and tried and tried.