x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Coach has no concern over job despite early departure in Qatar

Srecko Katanec, the UAE coach, says he does not feel under pressure despite his side's early exit from the Asian Cup and the fact his contract expires in June.

DUBAI // Srecko Katanec, the UAE coach, says he does not feel under pressure despite his side's early exit from the Asian Cup and the fact his contract expires in June.

"I do not worry about my job," he said. "I am satisfied with my job here, and I am not under pressure. We play good football.

"I received many compliments about the way we played. It is satisfying when you know the players are enjoying what they are doing."

The view that the national team is making progress under their Slovenian manager was endorsed by the FA, who presented their findings into the side's Asian Cup performance at their headquarters yesterday.

"We regarded the performance of our team as being positive," Bernard Schumm, the head of coaching education for the FA, said. "I've been here for five years and I remember games where we have played three passes in the game and the opponents have had the ball for the rest of the 90 minutes. Now we play at a much higher level when we are on the ball."

Katanec says his side's campaign in Doha was hindered by the lack of preparatory time they were afforded together.

"In this case, for me, it was wrong because we went to play the most important competition in Asia in the past four years having had just a five-day camp in Oman," he said.

"Everyone in football knows that is not possible.

"I had the team for two friendly matches since September, the most important games for us, against Angola and Chile, and we were without virtually everybody. Then we want a result, and it is difficult."