Jurgen Klinsmann '1,000 percent' sure that U.S. will reach 2018 World Cup
Jurgen Klinsmann has told Reuters that he is certain the United States will qualify for the 2018 World Cup, despite being hammered 4-0 by Costa Rica last week.
Klinsmann has been under major pressure after the U.S. suffered two consecutive defeats, the first coming against Mexico, in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.
The team has 12 wins, six losses and one draw in 2016, but the German coach is confident that his side can get back on form in upcoming games against Honduras and Panama.
"It's important to put this in the right perspective," he said. "We lost the two opening games and played the two best teams right away. We have eight more games to get the points needed to qualify. We've always reacted strongly when things were nerve-wracking.
"This team is always capable of reacting. We'll correct this with the two games in March and we'll take one game at a time from there to get our points. I'm 1,000 percent sure we'll qualify."
Klinsmann admitted that he was aware of the criticism regarding his position, but insisted that he would not be pressing the panic button yet.
"When things go slightly wrong, there are some people who come out and are ready to chop your head off," he said. "In the long run, that's going to make the development of the team difficult. It's important to stay calm and be patient.
"There are definitely issues to be addressed, but there is no reason to exaggerate them or panic. I've been doing this for 35 years, and there are always many reasons why certain things happen, both positively and negatively."
Klinsmann also revealed that President Barack Obama gave him some support at a recent meeting.
"He said, 'Coach, it didn't go well in Costa Rica, but it's only the start of the World Cup qualifying and you'll get back on the right track,'" Klinsmann said.
"He understands that it's a long qualifying process. He also understands dynamics of soccer as a global sport and how it builds bridges."
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