With Pakistan sacking Zaviša Milosavljević in the aftermath of the loss against Afghanistan, Shahzad Anwar has stepped in as the coach of the green shirts for the SAFF Championship.
The new coach of the national team looked forward to the tournament, as he felt his players were in the right frame of mind for the competition and were well prepared.
“We have had very good preparations, and we have a very young lot. God willing, we shall produce good results. We have emphasized on special training session and the boys are in good shape. We are in a very good group, and boys are very motivated. The first game is against India and then we also face Bangladesh. God willing, we shall qualify for second round.”
Anwar was delighted at being handed the reins of the squad for the forthcoming tournament, after a string of foreign based coaches failed to deliver the desired results. He mentioned, “Over the (last few) years, we have had several foreign coaches, and now Pakistan team has given me a chance. We also have a coaching consultant and he has given us good advice.“
Making light the thrashing they received against Afghanistan, the Pakistani head coach stated, “Before this competition we played Afghanistan and we lost the game. But (results in a) practice match doesn’t matter. We also played couple of friendly matches with clubs.”
He also dismissed any suggestions of any sort of pressure on the team to perform, and revealed, “We feel no pressure. Infact we are motivated playing India and Bangladesh. In our region all teams are equal. We can’t say one is good, one is not good. For my team, I can say my team has the ability to beat anyone in this competition.”
The coach also hinted that the presence of five foreign based players will be an advantage for his squad.
“We have 5 foreign based players, Yaqoob Butt, Adnan Ahmed, Zesh Rehman, Yusuf Bhutt, Hassan Bashir. This is very good (for the team) that 5 foreign players are playing with us. All players have good experience and we have advantage of this thing."
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