The Philippines’ national coach, Michael Weiss, has called on his team to focus on getting a win for all those affected by hurricane Haiyan, as his team gear up to face the Indian side led by Wim Koevermans in an International friendly at Siliguri, India.
On being asked how his preparation was going, he explained that his teams’ recent friendlies, notably the one against United Arab Emirates (UAE) where they lost 4-0 away from home, had helped them understand key fragilities within the squad. “They (UAE) could even win against Japan and Korea, who are very strong. They have excellent players, ones who are young too. We had several key players missing, so we didn’t have much chance. But it was a great experience for us. So, no problems in all.”
In their last three friendlies, the Azkals have lost two of the three matches, against Chinese Taipei and UAE.
Asked if all his players were fit to play against India, the coach elucidated, “Yes, all my players are raring to go as we have the best players available. Number seventeen (Patrick Reichelt) is fit and so is the Goalkeeper (Roland Muller) who has arrived from Switzerland. We only have two or three players missing. We have the best squad possible.”
Finally asked on how his team has reacted to the national disaster in Philippines, the coach expounded, “No, we aren’t affected. We want to play for the country and we hope to give something back to the people in such difficult and dreadful times, where for most of the people, especially in the central region, it is a big disaster. We are shocked, of course. But life goes on. We have to continue and look ahead rather than crying and sit in the house. We have to move forward.”
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