March 20, 2018
Vodafone Fiji Football Head Coach Christophe Gamel is anticipating a tough encounter against the Philippines in Manila on Thursday night.
The Frenchman is confident his young brigade will do well but says their much experienced and faster opponents will be very difficult to beat at home.
“We have a very difficult game against the national team of the Philippines. We have prepared well and will get 1-2 days more to train and fine tune our moves before the game.”
“Let’s see how the boys will react. Half of the team will be new. There is a problem of consistency here in Fiji that I have been facing since one year.”
“This is a renewed team. A lot of young players have been included in the final team and some players who could not make it previously have been given the chance this time around.”
“We are building up on our road to the FIFA 2026 World Cup and the young players will get their chance to play top level football and I hope they will be able to carry on the pressure and learn.”
“The opponents are very technical and fast. We have analysed them and we will try our best to block them. We need to be very focused in the first 20 minutes to resist to the pressure they put in their home games. “
He added playing on an artificial surface will also make things hard for the Fijians.
“They have put the game on an artificial pitch because they have seen our game against Indonesia so they want to increase the speed of the ball on the ground and like that they know we will get into trouble. Let’s see how our team to adapt to the conditions.”
“We are far away from them in the FIFA rankings but I do not go in small challenge I want the team to perform to the best of its ability, we have to be focused and look towards 2026 with a positive mind because nothing will be easy to get one spot in the World Cup,” Gamel concluded.
The Philippines vs Fiji match kicks off at 11.30pm (Fiji Time).
By Reginald Chandar