Friday 24 May 2019

Queiroz keeps focus on Iran's bid to surprise

The 65-year-old deflected questions on the issue. Photo: Reuters
The 65-year-old deflected questions on the issue. Photo: Reuters

Jamie Holland

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz is refusing to be distracted by Spain's coaching calamities ahead of their opening match against Morocco in Saint Petersburg today.

The 65-year-old, himself a former Real Madrid coach, deflected questions on the issue, saying: "It would be disrespectful to Morocco if I shifted my words to Spain.

"We admit they are favourites but we do not tolerate the suggestion that we are not capable of winning. We love to deal with these moments of pressure because this is what it is all about."

Morocco will be without winger Nabil Derar, who is making a gradual recovery from a calf injury.

And, ahead of the opener, the Frenchman sent a message to those who consider the north African team - making their first World Cup finals appearance since 1998 - amongst the also-rans. He said: "We have major teams to face. But we're not here to take pictures of monuments in Saint Petersburg."

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