Morocco coach Verbeek unconcerned by Spain test

The Dutch coach insists his team will take their group stage matches one at a time and believes the African country are capable of springing a surprise against Luis Milla's men
Morocco Olympic coach Pim Verbeek has insisted that he is focused on his side's first game against Honduras but believes they could spring a surprise against group favourites Spain.

The former Australia coach pointed out that the first of his team's fixtures was important as it would give him more of an indication as to the strength of his squad.

"You have to play Spain anyway, in the tournament the first game is important because you don’t know how good the team are," Verbeek told reporters.

"So we agree that we have to focus on Honduras, that is the most important game and that's where we go from."

The 56-year-old feels that Morocco can test Luis Milla's fancied team, however, and targeted a place in the next round.

"We all know that Spain is one of the favourites, but that doesn't mean that we automatically think that we cannot beat Spain," he said.

"So we will try to qualify for the next round, we will try to win every game, that is the target and we will see if Spain are better than us."

Verbeek felt that the experience of Morocco's European-based players would stand them in good stead in Great Britain.

"It has nothing to do with the Moroccan league but our players in Europe are at big clubs, they have grown up in good professional academies, so they know what it is to play international football," he explained.

"We are pleased to have players such as Zakaria Labyad who played with PSV Eindhoven and made a big transfer."

Verbeek revealed that he had almost concluded his starting line-up but would keep an eye on his players in their last two training sessions to finalise his plans.

"Not yet [have I picked the team], we still have two days and two training sessions, tonight and tomorrow night, but of course I have a good idea what I am going to do," he added.

"But in my experience I believe that it is better to wait until the final day to find out if everyone is physically fit and able to play."