Bert van Mawijk is content with the progress that his troops have made since he took charge. This is his third national training camp and the Dutch manager wants to spend more time on the training field to implement a new system rather than play competitive games.
UAE are in a spot of bother as far as their standing in the World Cup Qualification table is concerned as they sit fourth with just six points from four games. They will look to make amends when they get back to their campaign against Malaysia on June 3, following which they take on Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam in the space of 12 days. However, the UAE have four matches in hand while their opponents have one less.
Up against India next
But before that Marwijk's men will go up against India in a friendly on Monday evening and he is happy with the preparations.
"I think they (UAE) have improved. Because we worked with a lot of young players and I saw that they were physically stronger and they have gotten better. It’s given me a good feeling," stated the manager to The National.
UAE was supposed to play Malaysia and Indonesia this weekend, but due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic AFC (Asian Football Confederation) was forced to postpone the fixtures to June. But the Whites will have an advantage as they are going to host the remaining fixtures and hence will play the four matches in their own backyard.
Marwijk thinks that they are going to fare better in the upcoming qualifiers as they have played against the opponents.
"We know our opponents because we played them one time already. Originally we were to have three games at home, now we have four. So I think we have a good chance because we know the opponents, we know how to play against them. And, if everybody stays fit … I cannot guarantee anything, but I think we have a good chance to qualify for the next round."
But UAE will be playing close matches in June which will not allow them enough time to recover, which is a cause of concern for Marwijk.
“It’s very difficult, but I cannot change it. I have to deal with it,” Van Marwijk said. “We have already spoken about it with the whole staff and we will do everything as professional as possible. We will also invite a few people I know who are specialists in these things.
“Because our opponents play three matches at the same time, so it’s playing and recovering, playing and recovering. And then the climate. So we have to think very professionally and we will do that," he stated.
The former Netherlands manager has dropped Ismail Matar from the squad and he chose not to explain his decision.
"I will not answer questions regarding why I nominate a player, yes or no. I’m building a new team and in the new team are a lot of young players. I’m satisfied with the players I have now and I will work together with them hopefully for a long time," he concluded.