Tehran: National team head coach Dragan Skocic has not paused since returning to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
With Team Melli facing a huge challenge in the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023, Skocic has been busy scouting players ahead of Iran resuming their Group C campaign in October.
Back-to-back defeats to Bahrain and Iraq mean Iran have to win their remaining four matches to advance to the third round of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers and Skocic is determined to have the best players available.
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“Since I returned to Iran, I have been attending the league competition to monitor the players. I will continue to watch the matches to see more players,” Skocic said to local media.
Iran sit third in Group C and will probably have to beat Cambodia, Hong Kong, Bahrain and Iraq to qualify for the next stage.
They are - albeit with a match in hand - five points behind group leaders Iraq who have 11. Second-placed Bahrain are on nine points with only the top-placed team assured of a place in the third round of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers.
“The situation is not good in our group but we are analysing our performance to find the best way in the future. I want to do great things here and promise the fans the situation will be different from the past,” said Skocic..
“I expect more of myself and know that all Iranians expect to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. I am responsible for that, that’s why I am here. I know that playing in the FIFA World Cup is very important to Iranians,” the 51-year-old added.
“It’s time to think big. Iran is an important country in Asia and we have to do our best to pave the way to advance from our group. We should have great ideas. At this time, we need support and we have to focus all our energy to finish our job.”
Iran will host Hong Kong on October 8, and play Cambodia away five days later. They end their second round campaign at home against Bahrain and Iraq on November 11 and 16 respectively.
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