Norway appoint Olsen as temporary coach

OSLO - Norway have appointed Egil Olsen, the coach who put Norwegian football on the world map in the 1990s, to lead the side for three friendly matches while the team seeks a permanent head coach.

The surprise move to bring back Olsen, known affectionately in Norway by the nickname "Drillo", raises the prospect of him leading Norway to the World Cup finals for a third time.

"I would like be a part of that," Olsen, 66, told Norwegian daily VG about the prospect of being in charge for the 2010 finals in South Africa.

Norway have their work cut out to qualify though. They are bottom of Group Nine with two points from three matches. They failed to win a match last year, prompting coach Aage Hareide to quit last month.

Olsen's first match in charge will be a friendly away to Germany on February 11.

Olsen took Norway to the World Cup finals in 1994 and 1998 and to second place in the FIFA rankings, but was sometimes criticised for employing defensive tactics.

Olsen coached English side Wimbledon in 1999-2000, but was fired by Iraq last year after refusing to train the team in the warn-torn country, having been in charge for only three competitive games.