AFC Asian Cup: Soukup hopes for a nice day for Bahrain football
Soukup said they have enough information about the Korean team.
Dubai - I trust that my players can repeat the results says Bahrain coach
By James Jose
Published: Mon 21 Jan 2019, 8:40 PM
Last updated: Mon 21 Jan 2019, 10:52 PM
Miroslav Soukup hopes it will turn out to be a nice day for Bahrain soccer and perhaps even better if they can spring a surprise against heavyweights South Korea in round of 16 of the AFC Asian Cup.
Bahrain are only making their second appearance in the knockout stage of the competition after their fourth place finish way back in 2004 and the Czech is dreaming of it becoming a landmark occasion for the country when they meet the Taegeuk Warriors at the Rashid Stadium on Tuesday.
"We are the underdogs but it will be a nice day for Bahrain soccer to play a team like Korea Republic," Soukup said at the Rashid Stadium on Monday.
"We will play one of the strongest teams of the tournament. They are one of the biggest and one of the best in Asia. And they have the experience of having played in World Cups. They are quite strong offensively. But we want to do our best and try and get a good result. I think our performance is going step by step and we can hopefully give them a good fight. My players showed a good effort against India and if we can repeat it and have a lucky day, who knows," he added.
The 53-year-old is realistic but felt it was a great opportunity for his men to play against a team like South Korea. "Teams like South Korea and Japan, these are teams who are top teams in Asia and they have players playing in Europe. They have individual quality. But, as I said before, I trust in my team. My team is hungry to get a win. But we will see if our performance is enough. We have to be realistic," said Soukup.
Soukup said they have enough information about the Korean team but that will amount to nothing if they cannot pull up for a fight.
"We have information about their team. My team or any team can get ample information about such teams. For example, teams have information about FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi but teams still find it difficult against them. And Korea Republic are such a team," he said.
"I trust that my players can repeat the results. We have had a bit more time, seven days to prepare for this game and this is the optimum time to prepare for a match. I don't want to say too much but we are ready for this challenge. And I hope if the Bahraini fans come out to support us, they will be our 12th man," the former Yemen coach said.
Bahrain, who held hosts UAE to a draw and then lost to Thailand, managed to qualify following a last-gasp penalty against India.