Fiji fall hard to Hungary

However coach Frank Farina says the result wasn’t too much of a shock for several reasons.
“It wasn’t really a surprise once we saw the conditions, and they were the same for both teams to be honest,” Farina says.
“But Hungary are much more used to the cold conditions, they had to move where we played and to be brutally honest our boys were ill prepared in terms of their footwear and basically everything else.
“On the whole of the game it didn’t come as a surprise but it was a good learning experience for the boys that this is what they’ve got to expect here in New Zealand particularly, even worse, in Christchurch.”
With just under a week to go before the big match against football powerhouses Germany, Farina says Monday’s result won’t change his approach to the team’s preparations.
“I’m not overly concerned about the result. I think conditions, particularly the pitch, will be much better in Christchurch and I’m confident the boys will bounce back.
“We played some good spells on Monday but I just think that we weren’t in the game. It was like they were playing on glass and obviously that’s something that they’ve got to learn, in terms of the shoes that they wear they couldn’t stay on their feet so as I said, good learning curve for them.
“It was a reality check and I think that’s a good thing.”
Farina says spirits in camp are as high as ever as the players gear up for one of the most exciting matches, and events, in their lives.
“It’s an exciting time for them. As I said, a learning curve, and not just for the players but all the staff and representatives of Fiji Football Association, of what this level is.”
Continuing on that theme, Farina says expectations of this team and what they can realistically achieve need to be kept in check.
“I’ve been saying that since the day that I came in, that none of them including the staff and representatives of Fiji Football have come to this level. We’ve seen in previous tournaments at youth level for example when Tahiti qualified and got some pretty poor results.
“For players from the Pacific it’s a big step up, it’s not like playing in Oceania. It’s not an excuse it’s just a reality and you’ve got to keep pointing out reality to people because sometimes their expectations, particularly back in Fiji and Fiji supporters, believe that the team is competitive at this level.
“The reality is they’ve never played at this level and are coming up against some very good sides and professional players – and all of these boys are just part-timers.”
Looking back to their preparations in Sydney Farina says it’s possible to look at those results against some impressive footballing nations and say that the gap is closing.
“In Sydney against Mexico and Colombia the circumstances, conditions were a lot different, the surface was much better and you could play football on it hence the reason why the results were so good.”
With the opportunity to play against the world’s best players at this level, and future stars of the world’s top leagues, one of the key messages for the players is also just to enjoy the experience.
“Fijians generally love to enjoy their football and they are. Albeit Monday’s result wasn’t a good one, but their spirits were high after the game, we discussed a lot of things.
“But it is a great opportunity for them, and also a great experience and not only for them but for Fiji football.”
The Fiji U-20 get their FIFA U-20 World Cup campaign underway against Germany in Christchurch on Monday 1 June.
For more on the FIFA U-20 World Cup visit FIFA.com


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