ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s national football team coach, Akhtar Mohiuddin, has said the team’s training camp at Jinnah Stadium, Pakistan Sports Complex, is going fine at the moment but still lacks technical ground techniques and self-confidence among the players.
“These boys are really talented. I think the main reason that our players lack techniques is because they have not played enough games. Our team’s ranking will increase as they will compete with stronger teams in Asian Games to be held in China next month,” Mohiuddin told APP.
Mohiuddin said, “We will face tough teams like Maldives, Oman and Thailand in the event and the confidence level of our players will automatically go up after playing them.”
It is very good that Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) has given young players a chance in the national squad well in time and they will get proper time to groom and make themselves good players, he added.
The coach mentioned that players like Jaffar Khan, Samar Ishaq, Mehmood Khan, Haider Ali, Yasir Afridi, Abbas Ali and Muhammad Tauseef have improved a lot in ground techniques and were doing well.
“If we do well in international matches, the team’s level will improve and once it improves, people will take notice and that will make a big difference in building the confidence of our players,” he added.
“It will be a great achievement for us if we would be able to reach the pre quarter finals stage in the Asian Games as our team has not played matches with other teams,” the coach said and added that Pakistan probables earlier played five matches against local clubs in Lahore before shifting the camp to Islamabad and won all of them.
Meanwhile Pakistan’s newly appointed football consultant coach, Graham Roberts while talking to APP said, “All our players need to do is to play matches. You can only improve by playing games and we want them to play more and more. We want to get the structure right from the bottom and then build bridges. And although I have a very short time here to share my experience, but I am sure football will improve in Pakistan.”
“I will teach the players as much as I can and I am hopeful that by playing training matches with local Islamabad football clubs, the performance of our team would improve,” he stated.
Probables in the Asian Games camp are: Amir Gul, Jaffar Khan, Yousuf Butt (Goalkeepers); Haider Ali, Umer Farooq, Samar Ishaq, Ahsanullah, Aurangzaib, Muhammad Ahmed, Atif Bashir, Yaqoob Butt (Defenders); Mehmood Khan, Yasir Afridi, Mohammad Adil, Muhammad Tauseef, Abbas Ali, Faisal Iqbal, Muhammad Rashid, Zainullah (Midfielders); and Kalimullah Khan, Rizwan Asif, Saddam Hussain, Shani Qayum, Faraz Ahmed (Strikers). – APP