Targeting 3 points: Le Guen

Targeting 3 points: Le Guen

Though his side is ranked a healthy 40 places above India in the FIFA rankings, the Oman coach Paul Le Guen said that his side will have no psychological edge over their opponents when the two face-off in the opening game of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier here on Thursday.

“I don’t think we have any advantage going into the tie,” said Le Guen. “I don’t care about FIFA rankings. I have never understood it properly. I have told my players to forget that tomorrow. There are three points at stake and we want all three. That’s what matters now. Nothing more than that. We have to play well to win against them (India),” he said.

The Omanis have played four friendlies ahead of Thursday’s clash, but the results have not been satisfactory. Barring their win against Malaysia, Oman struggled to eke out a draw against Bahrain, while losing to Algeria and Syria. But, their coach was sure that his side was ready for the Indian challenge.

“Those were friendly games and I didn’t have my full squad then. We had so many chances and we missed them. The most important things is the official game tomorrow. We will have to concentrate on that,” he quipped.

The Frenchman also assured that the visitors did not consider India to be a weak side and stated that winning against the Stephen Constantine-coached side will be a task in itself. “We have watched some videos of Indian players before coming here. I know that they have a new coach and that they beat Nepal to qualify. They have good players and the team is improving and so we have to be respectful. The game in no way will be easy for us,” he stressed.

Backing his squad, the formerParis Saint Germain player said that he was looking up to his senior men to do the job and lead the younger bunch by example. “We have many experienced players and they are the backbone of the team. I rely on them. They are the strongest part of the team. And I am sure that they will deliver tomorrow,” he added.

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