Newly minted Philippines coach Sven Goran-Eriksson is looking forward to his first game in charge of the Azkals against Singapore.
“I know we have a good team but I was impressed by Singapore the other day and I expect a tough game.”
“Personally it is a new experience for me and I am excited and look forward to it,” said the former England manager at the pre-match press conference today.
Although the well-travelled Swede respects Singapore he certainly isn’t worried of his chances against them.
“I am not worried but we should respect Singapore because of what they did to Indonesia and have good players.”
Sven’s impact is definitely not lost on his players especially on captain Phillip Younghusband who was also present for the pre-match press conference.
“I was a 15 year old boy when he was managing England so for me personally he is one of the best managers in the world.”
“He brings so much experience on and off the field and has been a great help for the team.”
Some have pointed out that Sven’s unfamiliarity with the Southeast Asian region might be his undoing but he is confident that will not be a problem.
“I did a bit of coaching in Thailand and helped the team there some years ago but yes I have little experience in Southeast Asia.”
“But I think you have been in Europe, Asia and Africa, football is all the same. Many of the players in the Philippines team have a footballing education in Europe so it won’t be a problem. Also my assistants have good knowledge on football in this region.”