We are not taking India lightly, says Oman coach Le Guen

We are not taking India lightly, says Oman coach Le Guen

Placed 141 in the world, India have a poor record in international football in recent times. But the Omani coach Paul Le Guen is in no mood to take his opponents lightly when the teams clash on Thursday.

“I don’t think we have any advantage. They (India) are improving and they are getting better and better,” said the Frenchman on Tuesday.

“The league here has developed a lot. And I think the Indian players are taking benefit of the improvement of the league by playing alongside experienced players, great players.”
The former Paris Saint-Germain manager stressed on the importance of the tie and said a slip-up could cost his side a place in the next round of qualifiers.

“I know how important it is (the opener against India),” he said.

“We are in a tough group and we don’t want to miss one chance. That’s why the game against India here is so important. I know it will be tough as the Indian team is improving and getting better and better. But, it’s our job to get the three points,” he added.

The middle-eastern side has made tremendous progress in the past few years, making it to the Asian Cup early this year. And the coach was quick to credit his players for their progress and determination.

“It’s the quality of the players Oman has. A coach can’t do much. They have been really good and responded well. But, we have to do more. I want all the players to be professional and that is the next step,” he said. The Omanis’ didn’t enjoy a good outing Down Under during the Asian Cup, losing to South Korea and Australia. But the coach seemed happy with the performance.

“It was a great feeling to have qualified for the Asian Cup.  But, we went out losing to the two finalists Australia and Korea. I do not see any shame in that. It’s quite normal to have been beaten by Korea or Australia,” he explained.

Oman went out in the penultimate round in the 2014 qualifiers and the 51-year-old said he was keen to improve upon that. “My expectation is to be at our best. Last time we were so close to qualification and it was amazing.

It wasn’t expected in Oman and people started to dream. I think we did well last time and it will be tough to do that again or better that. But we have to try. I think the new generation in Oman players have to developed an ambition to improve but it is not easy as the league in Oman has to develop first. We have to become more professional and we have to work hard as the others,” he added.

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