China has responded to its Asian Cup elimination by reiterating its faith in the current coaching staff.
China finished with one win, one draw and one defeated, and failed to advance from the group stage, but the performance in Qatar was deemed impressive enough to secure the positions of Gao Hongbo and his assistants.
China’s state news agency confirmed that the coaching staff will not be removed after the Asian Cup.
Team administrator Cao Jingwei said officials were satisfied the team was able to gain experience in Doha.
“Of course there’s a lot we have to think about before the team heads forward, but there’s no way we sack our head coach or any of the national team’s coaching staff,” Cao was quoted as saying.
“The main task that the Chinese soccer governing body handed to the team is to make the young players more experienced, and we thought they reached the goal.”
China had needed a victory by at least two goals in their final group game against Uzbekistan to secure a last eight place after beating Kuwait and losing to hosts Qatar, but they came up short drawing 2-2 with the group winners.
“Before the third and last match, our players were under huge pressure and desperate to get through the first round. They played a fine game, considering what they were shouldering,” Cao said.
“The players fought so hard and we were satisfied with their performance,” he added.
China’s young team is being built up for qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
“We see progress and hopes through the young squad and we believe that the Asian Cup experience would help the team play a better World Cup 2014 qualifying tourney,” Cao said.