Qatar’s coach Felix Sanchez said he would not change a thing if he were to go back in time to before the start of the World Cup.
The host nation was the first to be eliminated from the finals after losing to Ecuador and Senegal, and it is playing the Netherlands on Tuesday in a game the European side needs to win to advance to the last 16.
Qatar is bottom of Group A with no points, while the Netherlands and Ecuador share the lead with four points, ahead of Senegal on three points.
“If I go back in time? It’s easy to talk about things after it’s over,” Sanchez told a news conference.
“I think we have prepared in the best possible way, but everything has to be considered in perspective, we have been working with this group for a long time. Sometimes things don’t go the way you want them to.”
The Spanish coach refused to give a glimpse of what the future holds, indicating that he still has a match with the team. His contract with Qatar ends this year.
Sanchez said each tournament marks the end of a cycle for the national team and that the next tournament is the beginning of the new one.
“The last cycle ended with winning the Asian Cup, then the new one began in the Copa America and the Gold Cup and ends with the World Cup. We are turning a page and starting a new one. Qatar is committed to football at all levels and will continue to prepare for a new tournament and play at the highest level.”
Sanchez believes that the finals showed that Qatar still lags behind other teams.
“We played against the African champions (Senegal), and Ecuador is a strong team, and we have a difficult match against the Netherlands tomorrow. If we continue to work on a daily basis, I think we can reduce the gap with the other teams and achieve something.”
The 46-year-old coach praised his players for their achievements, saying that they had achieved a lot in recent years by winning the Asian Cup and producing good results in the Gold Cup and Arab Cup.
Qatar won the 2019 Asian Cup and reached the semifinals of the Gold Cup and the Arab Cup last year.
It will host the Asian Cup finals instead of China, but the Asian Confederation has not yet announced the date of the tournament, whether it will be in 2023 or postponed until early 2024.