KARACHI: Pakistan football coach Zavisa Milosavljevic on Wednesday said that the country’s senior team need a lot more international exposure which is the only way to make them a fighting lot.
The Serbian told ‘The News’ in a telephonic interview from Lahore that the team must play on all FIFA days and should have 10 to 15 international matches in a year apart from official competitions.
“I have already given the PFF a proper preparatory programme,” revealed Zavisa, who has been working as Pakistan coach since November 5, 2011.
He said Pakistan have to appear in crucial AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers early next year but they have not played any international game since December last.
“Look at Maldives; they have been playing international matches consistently and that is the main reason why their ranking is much better than Pakistan,” he pointed out.
Pakistan last played at the SAFF Cup in New Delhi at the end of last year where the team, under Zavisa, failed to get through the group stage, drawing all their matches, played against Bangladesh, Maldives and Nepal.
The foreign coach wants persistent preparation for the team. “For producing better results, the team will need a lengthy preparation and it is the right time to give a good exposure to the senior team ahead of their next year’s assignment of the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers,” he said.
Zavisa these days is supervising a training camp of the senior team at the Model Town Football Academy Ground in Lahore.
The camp, which started on August 26, will close on August 31 and the players will then join their respective teams for the Premier League starting from September 5.
But the camp would continue if Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) managed to arrange friendly matches against Afghanistan on FIFA days, September 7 and 11.
“We are trying our level best to give maximum exposure to our team and are waiting for the response of Afghanistan to visit Pakistan for FIFA friendlies,” PFF secretary Col Ahmad Yar Khan Lodhi told this correspondent.
To a query Lodhi said if the Nepalese are ready to come to Pakistan they will be given conveyance facility from Delhi to Lahore.
As many as 25 players were called for the camp out of them Shakir Lashari, Mohammad Rasool, Zia-us-Salam and Rizwan Asif did not report.
Rizwan Asif and Zia-us-Salam are injured, while KESC striker Rasool and PIA forward Lashari have been absent without informing the coach. But Zavisa said that Faisal Iqbal was expected to attend the camp on Wednesday. “Faisal is joining us today,” Zavisa said.
About the absence of Lashari and Rasool, the coach said that it is the responsibility of the PFF to take action against them.
Zavisa strongly pleaded the case of foreign-based players, saying that without them a strong team could not be formed. “We need foreign-based players in the team. Without them we cannot arrange the best team,” stressed the coach.
Foreign players, including England-based Adnan Ahmad, Atif Bashir, Zeeshan Rehman, Shabir Khan, Denmark-based goalkeeper Yousuf Butt, striker Hasan Bashir and defender Nabil Aslam are on the radar of the coach for the FIFA friendlies as well as for the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers.
About the ongoing short camp Zavisa said that its basic purpose is to make tactical and technical preparation.
“We want to make technical and tactical preparation and want the players to learn how to play in a proper system. They will know how to play in a 4-4-2 formation,” Zavisa said.