Need to Attack for 90 Minutes Against Bangladesh: Igor Stimac
Our Sports Reporter
GUWAHATI: The Indian Football team started preparations in Guwahati for their third World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh. Kolkata will host the game on October 15. In a conversation with the local media on Saturday, the head coach of the team, Igor Stimac, shares his views on the opponent of the forthcoming match and some other areas. Here is the excerpt.
- Tell us about the preparations of your team for the forthcoming World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh.
Stimac: Everything is going fine. We’ve started our preparations in Guwahati on Friday. Apart from the training session we will also play a warm-up game against the North East United FC in Guwahati on October 9.
Q: Is there any specific reason to return to Guwahati for the preparations of forthcoming game?
Stimac: We’re happy to be back here where we got fantastic support during the match against Oman. We wanted to return to appreciate the local fans. The training ground and the main turf are also fantastic in Guwahati.
Q: After the heart-breaking result against Oman India made brilliant performance in their away game against Qatar. How it was possible?
Stimac: Look if your moral is high you can give tough fight and that too even against the much stronger opponent. After the match was over in Guwahati I returned into the dressing room and told my boys to forget about the result of this game and just focus on the next match against Qatar.
Q: The job was tough as you didn’t get the service of talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri in the game.
Stimac: Yes. Sunil is integral part of the team. His presence even at the dressing room works a lot to boost the morale of the team. At Doha it was a challenge for us to survive without Sunil and my boys did a good job.
Q: How will you describe the performance of Gurpreet during the previous two games of World Cup qualifier?
Stimac: It’s amazing. Absolutely brilliant! Our goalkeeper coach is doing a good job. The fitness and agility of Gurpreet and other goalkeepers of our team has improved a lot.
Q: Let’s back to next World Cup Qualifier against Bangladesh. This time you have little easy opponent. Isn’t it?
Stimac: We respect Bangladesh as a team. We are aware of the difficulties that my team is going to face, and we have been working on them. We need to attack for 90 minutes to break two defensive blocks of Bangladesh. They are a good side who try to cover, and close the midfield.
Q: Robert Jarni, the head coach of NEUFC, was once your teammate. Have both of you faced each other as a coach of opponent team.
Stimac: (With laugh) In Croatia we meet almost every day. But we have never faced each other as coaches of rival teams. However, it will happen in Guwahati.