Argentine coach projects confidence

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:40 IST

Argentine manager Jose Pekerman has sounded a confident tone as his squad began its final stage of preparations for the World Cup.

Argentine coach projects confidence

Buenos Aires:

Calling his lineup "fantastic'', Argentine manager Jose Pekerman has sounded a confident tone as his squad began its final stage of preparations for the World Cup."I believe we are going to do very well in the World Cup,'' Pekerman said a day after his squad gathered for the start of training.Argentina had a second day of training Tuesday with a 50-minute exhibition match scheduled for Wednesday against a youth side comprised mainly of Argentina's under-20 national team. Hours later, it will depart for Europe and a series of friendlies prior to the start of the World Cup in Germany.Argentina was dumped from South Korea-Japan 2002 in the first round, its worst showing in decades at a World Cup. But Pekerman predicted his squad, which returns only a handful of veterans from four years ago, clearly was motivated."We are going to go into this together, united, as an important group. We are very much focused on that," Pekerman said.He also praised the field, including archrival Brazil - a five-time Cup champion - but refused to single out any as "favorites".As a two-time World Cup champion, the nation anxiously is awaiting the World Cup amid hopes of erasing the memory of four years ago. And Pekerman declared his team has a "fantastic ability" to generate plays.Argentina will get its first test on May 30 in a friendly against fellow World Cup qualifier Angola in Salerno, Italy. (AP)



Topics : Football
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