Qatar coach Bruno Metsu delivered a candid assessment of his side's performance in their 2-0 defeat to Uzbekistan, conceding they were simply not good enough as their AFC Asian Cup campaign began in hugely disappointing fashion.
A fantastic strike from Odil Akhmedov and an opportunistic finish from Server Djeparov condemned the hosts to defeat in their opening Group A game at Khalifa Stadium and Metsu admitted the magnitude of the occasion may have got to some of his younger charges.
"I think the players wanted to give their best but there was a lot of pressure on them and they forgot everything," said the Frenchman. "Today is really a bad day. Sometimes the opening game is very difficult, it's not the first time a host team has lost their first game, there was a lot of pressure on many young players.
"They worked very hard for this game but sometimes the opposite happens and this was the case today," the coach went on. "It is important to protect the players. If there is one problem, one mistake, it's on me."
Qatar next face China PR on Wednesday at Khalifa Stadium and Metsu stressed it is imperative they take all three points if they are to maintain their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals. "For us, this game is need-to-win only. No question, no calculations, nothing," he added. "If we want to get to the second round, the only result is to win. We have five or six days to prepare for this game. I think it is possible, I respect China because they are also a good team but what my team showed today is not us."
The alternative is an unpalatable prospect. "It would be very bad for us and for me the coach not to qualify," he said. "My objective is to reach the second round but my situation is not important, the national team is important. I give my best, I work very hard, I give my all. I like my team, they work very well, and if it is not very good with me then maybe someone else but the first objective is to reach the second round, after that we decide."
Uzbekistan boss Vadim Abramov saw his side control the majority of the contest and declared there is still plenty of improvement left in his squad. "They (the players) played great today but this is not our maximum, I still think that we can play much better," he said. "We got the three points today and we are happy now but we should not relax for the next match. We will enjoy this now but tomorrow we will look to the next match."