Bahrain boss in awe of players after making it to the second round

Bahrain's players celebrate the win over India. (AFP)
Updated 15 January 2019
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Bahrain boss in awe of players after making it to the second round

  • Miroslav Soukup praise side's grit and determination after they profess to the knockout stages in the UAE.
  • Gulf side likely to face winners of Group B or C.

LONDON: Bahrain coach Miroslav Soukup praised his side’s fighting spirit after they made it through to the knockout stages of the Asian Cup.
A late penalty from Jamal Rashed was enough to give the Gulf side a 1-0 win over India, which along with the UAE’s 1-1 draw against Thailand was enough to make it to the second round as they leap-frogged India into third place.
That left the Bahrain boss in awe of his players.
“I am very proud because we know their (India) style of play from previous matches. They are very strong in counter attacks and my players were ready for that,” said Soukup.
“This is the first time in the tournament my players followed my instructions to the tee and we played exactly like in training. It was an amazing game today, we created many chances and didn’t give India any space.”
Bahrain’s win has set up a meeting with the winners of either Group B or C and the Czech coach praised his players for their focus and determination.
“My players really had the belief that they were stronger than the opponents and we played well. They believed they would score even until the final minute,” the 53-year-old said.
“Two times in a row, we were unlucky with penalties (against UAE and Thailand). Thank God for the penalty, it was our lucky day today.”


Mohamed Salah sure Liverpool can handle the pressure of Premier League title tilt

Updated 22 February 2019
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Mohamed Salah sure Liverpool can handle the pressure of Premier League title tilt

  • Reds face Manchester United on Sunday in crouch clash.
  • Egyptian ace says Reds will embrace the pressure as they g in each of first top-flight title since 1990.

LONDON: Mohamed Salah is in no doubt Liverpool can handle the pressure of the title run in, ahead of their crunch clash against arch-rivals Manchester United.
The Reds lie second in the Premier League table to Manchester City on goal difference, though with a game in hand. It was barely a month ago that they enjoyed a seven-point lead over the Abu Dhabi-owed club, but draws against Leicester and West Ham raised fears that Liverpool were starting to feel the strain of bidding for a first top-flight title since 1990.
But Salah has sought to put fans’ fears at ease, claiming the Reds are ready to embrace the pressure, starting at Anfield against familiar foe United.
“I said in November that there is pressure and it will be there until the end of the season, because when you play for the Premier League you have to accept that there is pressure,” Salah told Sky Sports.
“When you go home you can take it with you, but it can help you to work harder and focus on your game.
“At the end of the day you have a target in your mind, you have a dream, you want to win the Premier League. I even said that two years ago when I came — it is a dream to win the Premier League.”
Added to the pressure of trying to win the title is the fact that a clash against Manchester United is like nothing else the Reds come up against all season. The two teams are arch-rivals and Salah is only too aware that their North West neighbors would like nothing more than to ruin the Reds’ title charge.
The United encounter is the first of three tough fixtures in a week for Liverpool, with a midweek clash with Watford and the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on Sunday to come — a run of games that is not lost on Salah.
“It is a very big week for us,” Salah said. “And if we win three games and are top of the table, that is huge for us. When you have three games in a week or ten days, you just need to win, win, win, then after that you have time to think.
“Even when we are not top of the league, I know how much United want to win against Liverpool and Everton the same. For me it is not a big deal. We just need to do what we have been doing for the last couple of months.”