(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) After the disappointing stalemate against Bahrain in the opening game of the 21st Gulf Cup, Oman's coach Paul Le Guen is hoping for a fresh start for his team in its next Group A encounter against Qatar on Tuesday.The 2009 champion failed to sparkle against the hosts at the National Stadium on Saturday night, but the team management knows that the side has been a slow starter at the Gulf Cup, at least in the last two editions.In 2009, playing at home, Oman was held to a goalless draw by Kuwait before bouncing back to trounce Iraq 4-0 in the next game and following it up with a 2-0 win against Bahrain to storm into the semifinals and then win the crown.A year later, in Yemen, Oman drew its opening match against Bahrain 1-1 and went on to play two successive draws against the UAE and Iraq before making an early exit.Yet, Le Guen knows that the team will have to significantly improve its performance to achieve a turnaround here. Still upset over the draw with Bahrain, Le Guen said, ''Technically, it was a poor game from my players.When you play like this, there is not much you can expect from the team.''The coach, who has attempted to bring in changes by roping in quite a few youngsters, has met with reasonable success in the ongoing 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers final round where Oman remains in the hunt for a berth in Brazil.But his experiment to try out a new formation (3-3-4) here, and start with a squad that had youth and experience, failed to provide the desired result on Saturday.The team struggled to create any goal-scoring opportunity and the lack of cohesion in the midfield made things worse for Oman.Le Guen admitted that some of his players 'were not at their best level'. He didn't take names, but the substitution of captain Ahmed Hadeed at half-time with Eid al Farsi sent a strong signal that the debutant skipper hadn't done justice to his promotion.Also, the pressure of making high-profile debuts showed on some of the youngsters, namely Mazin al Kasbi (goalkeeper),defenders Mohammed al Mussallami and Abdulsalam Amour, midfielders Raeed Ibrahim and Eid al Farsi (substitute), and striker Yaqoob Abdulkarim.''The players may have been nervous. As I know, they have played much better in previous matches,'' Le Guen said. ''I still believe in them and hope we can have a fresh start against Qatar.''___________________Basheer's absence raises questionsThe absence of talismanic midfielder Fauzi Basheer from the Oman side for the opener against Bahrain has raised a few eyebrows here.The experienced former captain, who has starred in many historic wins for Oman and plays for UAE club Dhafra, was expected to play as a substitute once coach Paul Le Guen decided to give the captain's armband to Ahmed Hadeed.But the coach's decision to substitute Hadeed with Eid al Farsi and then bring in Hussain al Hadhri for Raeed Ibrahim on Saturday surprised many.Basheer's absence also added fuel to rumours of a reported fallout between him and the coach.A section of the Arabic media had reported ahead of the start of the Gulf Cup that Basheer had a heated argument with Le Guen after the friendly against Togo in Sohar on December 29.Sayyid Khalid al Busaidy, the Oman Football Association (OFA) chairman, had then denied the reports.