12/19/2018 3:42:50 PM (GMT+3)

Oman coach wants team to embrace sky-high expectations

Oman coach wants team to embrace sky-high expectations

ABU DHABI, UAE: Gulf Cup winners Oman would want to add another feather in their cap by winning the AFC Asian Cup, which starts on January 5.

Pim Verbeek’s Oman will go into the tournament in a confident frame of mind, but they will have to be at their best considering the presence of heavyweights like Iran, Japan, South Korea, Syria and defending champions Australia.

Verbeek wants his players to embrace the increased expectations being placed on his team as they prepare to take on Japan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in Group F.

 “It gives confidence to the players, to the selection, not only the first XI but all the players, that we can beat teams, good teams,” Verbeek told the-afc.com of the impact of his side’s Gulf Cup triumph. “We’re back at the front in the Gulf and now the next step is to do that at the Asian level.”

The west Asian nation will be making their fourth appearance at the continental championship, but the veteran Dutchman knows that his team’s success in last year’s hotly-contested regional tournament can help take his team to the next level in the UAE in January.

Verbeek’s side overcame the odds to win the Gulf Cup in Kuwait City for just the second time in the country’s history, winning their group ahead of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait before defeating Bahrain in the semis.

A penalty shootout victory over the UAE in the final gave Oman the title eight years after the only other success in the competition for a nation that had previously been seen as the whipping boys of the region. (Source: the-afc.com)