Ghotbi: We just want to make Iranian people happy

Photo: Ghotbi: We just want to make Iranian people happy / Arab World

Iranian coach Afshin Ghotbi said on Tuesday that his team was fully focused on their Asian Cup campaign as they were determined to make the Iranian people happy, DPA reported.

Iran, who were the only team to have qualified for the quarter-finals after their second group game, face the United Arab Emirates in their last group match on Wednesday.

"The players are very focused because they know that the success they achieve belongs to the country and the Iranian people and they want to have that success to make the people happy."

He said he believed the team was successful because they had confidence. "One of the biggest reasons for success is that there is self-belief, that there is the quality to create a winning spirit.

"Iranian people have enormous intelligence and their mind is working all the time. We needed to make sure that they think of one thing at a time and concentrate on the tactical aspects of the game. They needed to understand that if many small parts are combined they can be successful as one big part."

"The players are very focused because they know that the success they achieve belongs to the country and the Iranian people and they want to have that success to make the people happy."

Ghotbi, who will be joining Shimizu S-Pulse in the J-League after the Asian Cup, said that Japan was a model for football in Asia.

"The J-League is the perfect example of a professional league in Asia. Look at the infrastructure that they have built. Football in Japan is a great model we can use for the whole of Asia and that is why I am keen to work in Japan after the Asian Cup."

Ghotbi, who holds an US and Iranian passport, said he had no preferences whom they would play in the quarter-finals on Saturday. "My job is to have the team ready and I think we will be ready to get the result that we need to go through.

"Australia has a very good team with a lot of experience. It could count against them that some of their players are no longer the youngest and the recovery time takes longer as the tournament goes on."

The coach, who was part of the South Korean technical team at the 2002 World Cup when the country sensationally advanced to the semi-finals, said that South Korea, whom they could also face, are strong.

"I loved my time working in South Korea and love the people. They are a very good side. Personally I would love to play the South Koreans as late as possible."

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