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Tuesday, 28 May, 2002, 16:24 GMT 17:24 UK
Souayah defends his team
Ammar Souayah gives encouragement
Souayah (left) says there is now new optimism in the team
Tunisia coach Ammar Souayah has defended his team following their poor record since they arrived in Japan.

They lost all three games since arriving in the Far East, two of which were against Japanese club sides as well as a 2-1 defeat to Denmark.

But Souayah said that the poor run was due to problems of tiredness amongst his players.

"For the first two friendlies the team had to play under very difficult conditions," Souayah said.

"Travelling far distances to play the friendlies add to that the overall exhaustion from travelling to the far East and adjusting to the time difference."

Souayah added that now the team had adjusted, the fans could be more optimistic.

"Now that we have become more accustomed to our surroundings and have more time to rest, one can see the outcome," he said.

"It's only the beginning. We're headed in the right direction, the team needs to play with more will and enthusiasm to honour Tunisian football.

"The players responded well after losing the two earlier friendlies and played with much more hunger and concentration.

"We must get results when it matters most."

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GROUP H
  P GD PTS
JAPAN 3 +3 7
BELGIUM 3 +1 5
RUSSIA 3 0 3
TUNISIA 3 -4 1

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