Igor Stimac – Apuia to start, Players who didn’t play in the first game will get their chance

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With Team India’s second International friendly just around the corner we caught up with national team coach Igor Stimac and Captain Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in the pre-match press conference. This article will cover some of the insights from the presser.

We all saw the new-look Team India give a valorous fight to a higher ranked side like Oman in the first game. Coach Igor Stimac spoke about the same, “The boys recovered well after the game. It was a tiring game. Feel sorry that many people weren’t able to watch the match due to the technical issues but (I am) really happy how the players have performed,” as he appreciated the efforts put up by the Blue Tigers and acknowledged the plight of all the Indian football fans. The captain for the upcoming game, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu opined, “Finally some of the boys have played international football and now they know the level. We’re very keen on playing against UAE. Everyone’s very excited and it’ll be a good test for all of us. Everyone wants to give everything,” as he expressed his delight for taking on UAE tomorrow.

Igor Stimac with Team India
Credits – AIFF Media

The gaffer reiterated the fact that the team flew to the middle-east with an aim of testing their mettle and learn more holistically. Ahead of tomorrow’s game the players will pretty much have their intentions clear. Igor Stimac further said, “UAE is a more technical side than Oman. It’s going to be difficult, but that’s why we’re here. To test ourselves and get better.”

“UAE will keep on pressing, but we need to find a way and I don’t expect us to control the game because UAE is a much stronger opponent. We’re here to get the experience,” he added.

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A fair bit of talking points from the last game were carried forward as Coach Igor Stimac mentioned, “The problem in the first half (against Oman) was that we were not that organised to get the second ball and create good chances. We didn’t control individually and they had a lot of space to get the ball. Our back four in the second half was fantastic.”

Igor Stimac, Sandesh Jhingan
Credits – AIFF Media

He also lauded the youngsters who stepped up for the National duty, “I’m very happy with all the young players. They are down to earth, strong minded boys, there’s plenty of hunger to learn,”

“We’re all aware that we’ve quality young players. All the boys helped Apuia a lot and they were passing with simplicity. Apuia will start from the next game and the boys who didn’t get to play the first game will also get a chance,” he hinted towards the end.


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