His squad full of children, India head coach Igor Stimac desires his gamers to play fearless soccer when the workforce faces extra fancied Oman and United Arab Emirates within the worldwide friendlies subsequent week. India play Oman and UAE in Dubai on March 25 and 29 respectively — their first matches after greater than a 12 months because of the COVID-19 pandemic — as a part of preparations for the joint qualifying spherical matches for 2023 FIFA World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup. “We need to come to the pitch without any fear, we need to try to make our transitions properly, and we need to try and enjoy the possession that we have. That’s what I want to ask of my players,” Stimac instructed AIFF TV.
“As part of our footballing philosophy, we do not look for easy opponents. We can improve only by playing against better sides. Immediately after we found out (that the World Cup Qualifiers were postponed to June), we were able to confirm two friendlies against Oman and UAE.”
Although India are already out of reckoning for a 2023 World Cup berth, they’re nonetheless left with three matches — in opposition to Qatar (at house) and Afghanistan (at house) and Bangladesh (away). All of the three matches can be performed in June.
Stimac mentioned the number of the 27-man squad was primarily based on various standards, together with the Indian Tremendous League kind, previous performances for the nationwide workforce and total expertise.
“A conglomeration of different factors (went into deciding the squad). Most of the players made it to the squad on merit. But there are a few who have also proved themselves on the international stage. A few poor performances should not erase them from the squad,” mentioned Croatian.
He painted a brilliant future for Indian soccer.
“It’s a long process, and we are preparing to play and win against the best,” he mentioned.
“We are trying to build on the U-17s and develop their knowledge. Football promotion has grown leaps and bounds in India. Soon, football will take over as the number one sport here.”
Whereas the Blue Tigers are set for his or her return to worldwide soccer after the pandemic, they are going to be with out their captain and talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri, who has himself examined constructive for COVID-19.
Stimac heaped praises on Chhetri, stating that his presence motivates children as a result of not many gamers of his age can proceed acting at such a excessive degree.
“When you watch Sunil this season, you can see that he has improved, even though Bengaluru FC did not play as well. His individual numbers show that,” mentioned Stimac.
“It is important for youngsters to develop that knowledge when they are with him. I hope he stays motivated, because there’s still space left to improve, and there’s a lot left in him.”
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