On the heels of a 1-0 triumph over the T&T “Soca Warriors” in an international friendly match in Tehran, Iran on Thursday, Iran’s coach Carlos Queiroz said, he was impressed with the level of competition by the visiting T&T team.
Queiroz, a former Portugal national coach who was an assistant to coaching maestro Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, told the T&T media in a rare dressing room interview, it was a good outing that was hampered only by the playing conditions.
“Today, unfortunately, the pitch was not so good for both teams as it has been raining a lot in Iran but I think at the end of the day, there were lots of benefits for both sides. Since 2014 we have not met each other,” Queiroz said.
“A lot of things changed, some players still in the (T&T) team, and two or three players still in my team but with the same quality, same attitude and it was great to have this opportunity to play against T&T.”
“I was impressed with the ability of the team to fight, to play and to counter-attack. I am sure also that under other conditions the team would be much better. It was unfortunate that with the state of the grass it was not possible for the skilful players of Iran and especially the skilful players of T&T to express themselves.”
Having played against the T&T team four years ago, Queiroz said he has seen tremendous improvements, saying the team is much more compact, more aggressive and more organised with young fresh blood in it.
“I think you guys have a good future ahead of you,” said Queiroz. “I want to show my gratitude for this opportunity to work together with T&T. It is always a fantastic opportunity for our players because we play against players with good technique, speed, great attitude and physical power, and it’s always an opportunity for us to learn and progress.”
Iran won the match courtesy of a lone strike from Karim Ansarifard in the 50th minute at the Azadi Stadium.
Queiroz’s opposition number Dennis Lawrence, the T&T coach also expressed similar sentiments.
“It was a very good, competitive game. Exactly the type of game we expected. As I said before, Iran is a very experienced team and I think tonight (Thursday) both teams benefitted from the exercise. I was pleased with the effort of my boys but as I said, well done to Iran on the victory tonight (Thursday).
“You can see the Irani team is well coached. They all knew what they were doing, but we came prepared for the game so it was not going to be easy for them. I felt in the first half we allowed Iran too much possession and we tried to correct it in the second half which I thought we did. There weren’t many chances for us but we got a few.”