BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Although Dutch coach Erwin Koeman has only been appointed as the Oman head coach, he has insisted that his aim is to lift the invitational tournament Airmarine Cup trophy with his new charges.
Late last month, the Oman FA announced Koeman as former head coach and fellow Dutchman Pim Verbeek's replacement. Verbeek had opted to retire from management, after he took the country to the last-16 round in the recent Asian Cup.
Speaking in the Oman-Afghanistan pre-match press conference on Tuesday, Koeman remarked that he wants his new charges to win the tournament, despite his recent appointment.
"I've just been with the team for five days. It's important for me to know the players and my coaching staff better through this tournament. I have to be honest, I don't know them very well, I've only seen four recordings of their games.
"But in football there can be no excuses, you have to win, and I'm sure it's like that with Afghanistan too. We are here to win the cup, as simple as that. The expectations will be higher, but that's normal everywhere. It's good as it will push the staff and players to do a little better. It's the mentality, what's inside you, what you can bring, and everybody can always bring a little bit more.
"On top of that, the tournament is important for us as preparation for the World Cup/Asian Cup qualifiers. That's why we are glad to be here," responded the 57-year old trainer to a question by Goal.
He also added that some of Oman's best players are currently away with the country's U-22 team for the AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers, but the transition should be helped by the fact that he shares his predecessor's footballing philosophy.
"Several players are with the Olympic team at the moment in Qatar, so not everyone is here. But we are dealing with the players who are here.
"Mr. Verbeek and I are from the same country and we share a few footballing thoughts, while Omani football prefers the technical way. The players had worked with Verbeek for two years, and they already know what to expect, in regard to Dutch [football] culture," said Koeman.
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