If you’re optimistic then I am optimistic: Zavisa

Shahrukh Sohail, Senior Correspondent, Islamabad

Pakistan’s footballing future rests at the hands of the experienced Zaviša Milosavljević, but what this writer witnessed in training yesterday will give solace to the silverware starved fans of the Green-Shirts.

Pakistan U22 training at Jinnah Stadium (Courtesy: Xeography)

Unlike Tariq Lutfi, the Serbian tactician’s excellent tactical nous and great knowledge of the game was paying great dividends, as the boys were subjected to rigorous drills in order to hone their skills.

The coach was seen motivating and correcting the players at every opportunity and was hopeful of putting up a good showing in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking exclusively to FootballPakistan.com, the former Lesotho boss said that Pakistan should put up a decent effort this time around, but refused to acknowledge the reason behind not calling up any foreign player.

“If you’re optimistic then I am optimistic. But calling up foreign players is not your job it’s mine, so please move on,” he said.

“We are going to be travelling to Bahrain on the 11th of June, where we will play three matches before going to Saudi Arabia for the actual qualifiers on the 21st,” added assistant coach Nasir Ismail.

“We expect this team to play very well in the qualifiers, but we cannot promise to qualify,” continued Zavisa. But we have hopes because we played very well in Palestine and we have some International exposure now. This is a very perspective team.”

“I will be announcing my final squad on the 10th of June, which will include 20 players and three goalkeepers. Most of the team is from the old squad but I have added a few new faces from U-22 Championship in Bahawalpur. I will see who fits the National standard and then make my decision,” the veteran trainer was quoted as saying.

Pakistan start their AFC Qualifiers with tricky game against Saudi Arabia on the 23rd of June.

More exclusive pics of training sessions at Jinnah Stadium can be found here