0106 GMT December 02, 2021
With Iran facing a huge challenge in the Asian qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023, Skocic has been busy scouting players ahead of Iran resuming its Group C campaign in October, the-afc.com reported.
Back-to-back defeats to Bahrain and Iraq mean Iran has to win its remaining four matches to advance to the third round of the FIFA qualifiers and Skocic is determined to have the best players available.
“Since I returned to Iran, I have been attending the league competition to monitor the players. I will continue to watch the matches to see more players,” Skocic said to local media.
Iran sits third in Group C and will probably have to beat Cambodia, Hong Kong, Bahrain and Iraq to qualify for the next stage.
It is – albeit with a match in hand – five points behind group leader Iraq which has 11 poinrs. Second-placed Bahrain is on nine points with only the top-placed team assured of a place in the third round of the World Cup qualifiers.
“The situation is not good in our group but we are analyzing our performance to find the best way in the future. I want to do great things here and promise the fans the situation will be different from the past,” said Skocic.
“I expect more of myself and know that all Iranians expect to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. I am responsible for that, that’s why I am here. I know that playing in the FIFA World Cup is very important to Iranians,” the 51-year-old added.
“It’s time to think big. Iran is an important country in Asia and we have to do our best to pave the way to advance from our group. We should have great ideas. At this time, we need support and we have to focus all our energy to finish our job.”
Iran will host Hong Kong on October 8, and plays Cambodia away five days later. The Asian powerhouse ends its second round campaign at home against Bahrain and Iraq on November 11 and 16 respectively.