The Dutch coach says his side will play their upcoming World Cup qualifiers with confidence.
Bert van Marwijk
was sacked by UAE’s football association last year, but the FA decided to reappoint the Dutch coach in December. Since his reappointment, the 68-year-old has held three training camps. The team’s current training sessions are expected to be followed by a friendly match against India. UAE sit fourth in Group G of the World Cup qualifiers as they are five points behind Vietnam at the top of the table. Van Marwijk was asked about his side’s current form and their chances to qualify for the next round.
“I think they 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.”
“We know our opponents because we played them one time already,” Van Marwijk said. “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.”
Asked about UAE’s tight schedule for their upcoming matches, the Dutch coach responded:
“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 in 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.”
UAE’s former captain
has not been invited to the team’s training camp, but Van Marwijk was not willing to explain his decision to reporters.
“I will not answer questions regarding why I nominate a player, yes or no,” Van Marwijk said. “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.”