Despite the victory in the qualifying home match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup with the team of Sri Lanka – 2:0, the head coach of the national team of Turkmenistan Ante Miše looked obviously tired at the post-match press conference.
"It was a very difficult game, the hardest game was", said the 52-year-old Croatian specialist. – Because everyone thinks: Sri Lanka is a weak rival. But the players of this team are running well, they want to play. And we had a goal, as I said the day before, to take first or second place in the group H at the end of 2019 year. As a result, we got what we wanted. Thanks to my players, they were good today. We had moments, there were standards. It could be 5:0, 6:0, 7:0 ... I don’t know what the score could be. It was a good game.
– Fans were waiting for more goals. Why were there many unfulfilled moments?
– This is a matter of quality. We have only one "Turkmen Messi" – this is Arslanmyrat Amanov, the best Turkmen footballer. He has the quality, he made three or four final passes. Three to four times Altymyrat Annadurdyyev beat, Amir Gurbani beat twice, Mihail Titov hit once, Murat Yakshiyev also beat. But the good thing is that we create moments. We need to work on completing the attack. We are good at defense, compact. And there are problems in completing the attack. Forward Vahyt Orazsahadov had an injury, he has a problem with his knee. Didar Durdyyev played well, but did not score.
– How can you count with such a quality of the game on the second place in the group H?
– Yes, it will be hard. I said there will be a struggle for a second and third position. And as I said at the pre-match press conference, in one group are Lebanon, the DPRK, the Republic of Korea, and Turkmenistan. This is a very difficult group. But we will work step by step. Three points there, three points here. Lebanon team, when they comes to Turkmenistan, this will be the final for us. Whoever wins this game can fight for the third position.
– The most difficult games remained ahead for the national team of Turkmenistan: two trips to the Republic of Korea and DPR Korea and one match at home with Lebanon. What can the Turkmenistan team count in these matches? How many points do you plan to score in the remaining three matches?
– I don't plan anything yet. Now we need to relax a little bit, visit homeland. Then we need to prepare for the match with the Republic of Korea, then with Lebanon. A very complicated calendar for us. Why? We have Arslanmyrat Amanov, Murat Yakshiyev and Vezirgeldy Ilyasov and another player on our team with more yellow cards. These are very important players. I do not know whether to release them on the field in the next match before the game with Lebanon? The Republic of Korea team is the highest level in the group. We must give all our strength to the game with Lebanon.
– The next qualifying matches of the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be held by the national team of Turkmenistan only in March. Do you have a team preparation plan for them?
– There is a problem related to the preparation of Turkmen football clubs for the championship of Turkmenistan. How can I take 6 players of FC Ahal, 8 players of FC Altyn Asyr? I have a desire to go to the training camp together and play a friendly match. But let's see, now I can’t say anything about it. The other day we will discuss all these issues with the Football Federation of Turkmenistan, and then it will become known.
Thanks to the players and fans, they were very supported us! I am very glad!
– Which game of the remaining of Turkmenistan team is the most difficult for you?
– Each game is very, very difficult. But the game with Lebanon is very important for us. We need to win it in Ashgabat. You need to prepare well. God grant that the players do not have injuries.