Istanbul: Turkey's football coach Senol Gunes is a much maligned man, termed dour and un-charismatic. Gunes made an impassioned plea at a press conference in Istanbul for the country's media and public to pull together and support his team as they prepare for next year's World Cup in Japan and South Korea. Two weeks ago, a victorious Turkish team trounced Austria 5-0 in their last world cup qualifying match, reaching their first World Cup finals since 1954. But despite this spectacular performance, the national team's coach has been personally criticised. However, Gunes has tried to win over his doubters, stating that Turkey's presence in Japan and South Korea will benefit the tournament. "We are going to the World Cup for the first time in 47 years. And so at the World Cup we want to promote our country well, to show that we have talented players to follow the rules of fair play and to add colour to the World Cup finals," stated Gunes. Gunes also stressed that proper preparation and study of all the other 31 finalists would be the key to success. "We are familiar with European football. Of course, it is an advantage for us. England, Germany, France, Italy -- these are strong teams and it is an advantage to be familiar with them. What could be a surprise is to play against teams that we don't know," added Gunes. Meanwhile, even as the much maligned Gunes seems to be taking it all in his stride, his detractors want that he should be replaced by former coach Fatih Terim who led Galatasaray to victory in the 2000 UEFA cup final and was also coach when the team qualified for the European championships in 1996 in England.
Topics : Football