Skocic ‘optimistic’ about ending Team Melli’s current ‘bad position’

TEHRAN, Apr. 16 (MNA) – Iran National Football team coach Dragan Skocic said that he is optimistic about the performance of his team in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

"Our current position is bad, but we’re not yet despairing. Three of our remaining four games will be at home, where we’ll have massive support from our fans. I also believe we have a quality group of players, which is why I’m optimistic,” he said in an interview with FIFA published on Thursday.

Iran, that has experience back-to-back berths at 2014 and 2018 world cups, is now standing third in Group C of Asian qualifiers, behind Iraq and Bahrain. The team, under Belgian Marc Wilmots, didn’t perform as expected and eventually, officials in the Football Federation decided to replace him with Dragan Skocic.

Four games of this stage remain and Iran needs to win all to earn a safe berth to the next stage of the qualifications. However, the games have been postponed and may even face further postponement due to the COVID-19 outbreak across the globe.

"Being in charge of IR Iran is a great honor. My commitment towards the 80 million Iranians who support their national team is huge. I’m ready for this project and am looking forward to it with immense determination," said the Croatian coach of Team Melli.

"In contrast to a club, working with a national team allows you to choose from a large pool of players to instill your philosophy, although the downside is that you always have limited time to implement your ideas," added the 51-year-old manager who has never experienced guiding a national team before. 

"We’ll shortly be carrying out a detailed analysis of our team and those of our opponents as well. We’ll also be looking into new players who might join the squad. I have a clear idea of what’s required to improve our performances."

Iran has to first take on Hong Kong and Cambodia before facing Bahrain and Iraq and the point for the team is that three of the four matches will be held in Iran, in front of tens of thousands of fans.

"We have to be professional and respect all the teams, including Cambodia and Hong Kong," he said, adding, "We’ve promised the people of Iran that we’ll go back to the World Cup, and we’ll do our utmost to fulfill that promise."

MAH/PR

News Code 157680

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