Zavisa offers to coach Pakistan against Cambodia [The News]

Zavisa offers to coach Pakistan against Cambodia [The News]

by Alam Zeb Safi

LAHORE: Pakistan’s former Serbian coach Zavisa Milosavljevic on Sunday offered his services for Pakistan football, saying if he is given a chance he is confident to guide Pakistan to success in the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers against Cambodia.

“Based on the huge international experience so far, knowing the situation in Pakistan football well I am confident that we can achieve success,” Zavisa told ‘The News’ in an interview from Serbia.

“Of course we need to achieve the previous conditions for good preparation in the next two months,” Zavisa was quick to add. Zavisa served Pakistan as a head coach from November 2011 to August 2013.

Under his coaching, Pakistan improved technically a lot and also produced some solid results. Pakistan will face Cambodia in their away leg of the World Cup Qualifiers in Cambodia on October 12. The second leg will be held in Pakistan on October 17.

However, so far the authorities have not decided anything concrete about the senior team’s preparation for the vital assignment. Zavisa believes that Pakistan need quality preparation in the short time which is available. “There is a very little time left for preparations,” Zavisa said.

“Therefore they must be highly organised and effective. First of all I mean the additional selection of players and well prepared physical preparation. The only way for the team to get into competitive shape is to play four games in next two months with different national teams of Cambodia’s quality,” he said.

Zavisa said that there is a need of making technical changes which can turn the brigade into an impressive unit for the Qualifiers. “The previous tournaments and the SAFF Cup are now part of history. We should learn from our mistakes,” Zavisa said.

“It is necessary to implement a lot of tactical changes and eliminate bad moments. Definitely the team has to be highly motivated again and create a winning mentality. We did not have that in the previous games,” Zavisa said.

He also stressed the need to provide ample exposure to the brigade ahead of the Qualifiers. “Not only should Pakistan play in the September FIFA window but should also play a few additional matches. It is the only way to test and prepare players for the qualification against Cambodia,” he said.

He said that the players with top form will need to be put in the side. “Those players deserve a chance who are in their best form. The players from abroad should not be eliminated but they must be of high quality and should bring quality to the Pakistan team,” Zavisa said.

With the Qualifiers just two months away, Pakistan’s football authorities have not yet finalised plans for preparation of the senior team which is facing an uphill task to compete with Cambodia, a side which beat the Green-shorts last time in both the home and away games of the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers. Because of problems at home Pakistan played their home leg on that occasion in Doha.

Pakistan recently failed to deliver in the four-nation event in Mauritius and SAFF Cup in India, scoring just a single goal in the two events. Before these events Pakistan went 1-0 down to both Nepal and Maldives in their away friendlies.

Published in The News, 7 August 2023