Kuwait coach backs team against Aus

Kuwait coach Nabil Maaloul says his side are ready for their AFC Asian Cup opening match against Australia.

The tournament kicks off in Melbourne tomorrow (Friday 9 January) when Kuwait play the hosts and despite only having charge of the team for three weeks Maaloul insists they are ready for the challenge ahead.

Maaloul said: "The preparation period was very short, as I started coaching on December 18. The players have quickly adapted to my way of training which is good. I think the players are very ready to play their first game against Australia tomorrow (Friday). 

"The Gulf Cup did deliver bad results, but we have worked on the players' self-confidence. I feel like they have forgotten about the Gulf Cup and they are ready to start a new chapter now with the Asian Cup."

He added: "The match will be very new and different; the Kuwait national team doesn't contain all the same players that played at the last AFC Asian Cup in Qatar.

"We feel big pressure as a national team, especially as we had a bad last game in the Gulf Cup, but what we care about is the fame of the national team, we represent the people of Kuwait. We hope this pressure turns into a positive pressure."