LAHORE     -   Pakistan football team head coach Jose A Nogueira has said that the national team is well-balanced team and he has strong hopes from it.

“I have high hopes with my boys, as we have a balanced squad which has started to prepare for mission World Cup Qualifiers. We have enjoyed the day one training,” said Nogueira from Bahrain. The green shirts are in Bahrain for the preparation of two-legged first round of 2022 FIFA World Cup Pre-Qualifiers against Cambodia in June.

The head coach has termed it challenging as the Cambodia has shown reasonable progress in the last few years. “We are not taking Cambodia as an easy target. They are playing good football for the last few years, but my teams moral is high and they are ready to take the challenge,” the coach added.

“No doubt that Pakistan has stayed away from international football circuit for the last almost four years since the turmoil in Pakistan’s football in 2015, started with the interference by the previous regime to bring in its own supported people to take over PFF with the exception of few months in 2018 when Pakistan national team shared the football field in Asian Games in Jakarta and SAFF Cup in Dhaka.

“Amazingly the performance of the team was worth mentioning despite of the gap of several years. Unfortunately, the progressing Pakistan team was once again stopped in the end of December 2018 due to a change in the PFF on the court orders.

“In result of the elections held thereafter, the body elected was never accepted by the international football family, meaning by, having no international recognition, they don’t have the right to participate in an international event held under FIFA auspices or under Olympics charter while FIFA, AFC and all other international football governing authorities only recognize Faisal-lead PFF,” he added.

The Brazilian coach, supported by goalkeeper coach Marcello Costa and physical trainer Beto Portella (both also from Brazil), has claimed that a good work plan is already prepared for the side for the challenge against hardworking Cambodia. “We have already made our plan how to proceed with the preparations of the team. We realize that Cambodia is a very hardworking side.”