Oman coach fires warning shot

Oman coach Paul Le Guen says the Socceroos and Korea Republic should expect his nation to “cause trouble” in a tricky Group A at next month’s Asian Cup.

Oman – along with Kuwait – are seen as outsiders to progress from the group with host nation Australia and the highly-fancied Korea Republic expected to be the two sides to dominate.

But Oman – ranked seven spots higher than the Socceroos on FIFA rankings - are looking to spoil the party and have been preparing feverishly for the tournament in Canberra.

Following a strong showing at the recent Gulf Cup, Le Guen is confident they can cause a few shocks at the Asian Cup, starting with their opening game against Korea on January 10.

“It will be very tough,” the Omani boss said in the Canberra Times newspaper.

“We know we are not favourites because Australia is at home and South Korea are a quality side, but we have improved.

“We had a good tournament in the Gulf Cup and I think we can create trouble.”

Oman – who will meet Australian in Sydney on January 13 - can also take confidence from their last meeting with the Socceroos which ended in a 2-2 draw at the same venue in a World Cup qualifier in 2013.

Le Guen admitted it would be too much to read anything into that result but believes Omani football is definitely on the up.

“We have to be humble,’’ he said.

“Compared to Australia and South Korea, we are not a strong nation of football, but we have many good players.  

“They are not experienced enough, but they are on the right way and are getting better and better.”

Oman will ramp up preparations for the tournament with a friendly clash against Qatar at the AIS Athletics Track on Wednesday night.