Carreno: Qatar working hard to qualify for World Cup

Carreno: Qatar working hard to qualify for World Cup
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Published March 30th, 2016 - 16:52 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Qatar's head coach Jose Daniel Carreno looks on during a press conference in the Qatari capital Doha, on September 2, 2015, a day ahead of a match against Bhutan for the Asia Cup 2019 and 2018 World Cup qualifying matches. AFP PHOTO / AL-WATAN DOHA / KARIM JAAFAR ==QATAR OUT==
KARIM JAAFAR / AL-WATAN - DOHA / AFP
Qatar's head coach Jose Daniel Carreno looks on during a press conference in the Qatari capital Doha, on September 2, 2015, a day ahead of a match against Bhutan for the Asia Cup 2019 and 2018 World Cup qualifying matches. AFP PHOTO / AL-WATAN DOHA / KARIM JAAFAR ==QATAR OUT== KARIM JAAFAR / AL-WATAN - DOHA / AFP

For Qatar’s national team coach Jose Daniel Carreno, the current generation of national team players and their success to date in topping Group C of Asian Qualifying following their last match at Shaanxi Province Stadium in China has been down to the continuous development of Qatari football – and a clear football philosophy.

“In the group stage we had difficult games and others that were easier, but in every game we went out with the same mentality,” Carreno told www.sc.qa in an exclusive interview.

“We had the luck to win all seven of our games heading into the last match and played good football along the way. We conceded very few goals, scored a lot and have played at a very high level until now. We hope to maintain this level in the next phase, even though it won’t be the same because it will be against more difficult opposition. We have developed our style of play, in which we want to be the protagonists in every game.”

Looking back on the successful first phase of Asian qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, the former Al Arabi coach said the home game against China last October had been the key to securing early qualification to the final stage.

“China was the rival we had to beat for the first place, even though the matches against Hong Kong were also difficult. It was a tough game for China to lose in Doha, because it put us in first place, gave us security and put us very close to qualification. To finish first in the group shows us we are going in the right direction, and it will definitely give us strength.”

“What we did until this point in time gives us the hope and the confidence that we have a good team, we are playing well and have good tactics and concentration, and above all we would really like to go to the World Cup.”

With Qatar entering the draw for the final round of Asian qualifiers, Carreno said that friendly matches against higher-ranked European opposition had helped put his team in the right competitive state of mind for the challenges ahead.

“The friendly games we had against Scotland and Turkey were against teams that are higher than us in the FIFA rankings, and this helped us to grow as a team and to compete in a better way. Results are important, but the most important thing for me was the development of the team and how we played those two games and lost by the smallest of margins. We played at a high level and could have won or drawn those matches, and that experience will be very important for us in the coming games, which will be very difficult as well.”

Pointing to the development of Qatari football in general, the Montivideo-born former striker highlighted the coordination between different entities in the country with a single goal in mind: “Both Aspire and the QSL are working hard to support the national team, and you can see the results now. It is the work of a lot of people and a lot of time. The results are here, there is a better league, a national team with players of a good level, and we will contribute our grain of sand to help this project. I feel great backing from the league and Aspire, who are always assisting and protecting us, and as time passes Qatar’s football will continue progressing.”

Following Qatar’s strong World Cup qualifying second round campaign also comes new expectations and hopes, but Carreno believes that taking it one match at a time will ensure that the big objective remains in sight.

“There is pressure, but it exists for all important teams and we knew this when we took on the job. We accept it as a positive pressure, which can help us to reach our highest level. We have to go game by game and not think of Russia, but of our next rivals.”

“It is not my job to make promises. But what we can promise is to do everything in our power to qualify for Russia, dedicating our entire efforts to improving, and sending the message to fans that we will do everything possible to qualify for 2018. This would be the dream of the entire Qatari people.”

© Gulf Times Newspaper 2015

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