Stimac urges Blue Tigers to be 'clever and patient' against Sri Lanka
Indian players have been quiet since the Blue Tigers were held to a 1-1 draw by a ten-man Bangladesh. Fortunes in international matches fluctuate fast, and the boys have learnt it the hard way. They will now play Sri Lanka on Thursday.
MALE, MALDIVES: Indian players have been quiet since the Blue Tigers were held to a 1-1 draw by a ten-man Bangladesh. Fortunes in international matches fluctuate fast, and the boys have learnt it the hard way. They will now play Sri Lanka on Thursday.
"We need to look forward. There are three matches left in the group stage. We were punished in the last match, and we need to improve," Indian football team coach Igor Stimac was quoted as saying by aiff.com.
A lot of football is still left to be played in the tournament. But on the surface, the five-team format suggests that every match is a must-win for India to ensure a smooth passage to the final. Of course, there will be mathematical calculations as every team moves ahead. Sri Lanka, India's opponents, are, however, yet to win a match – having lost both to Bangladesh and Nepal.
At the official pre-match press conference, Stimac said: "It's about patience, it's about attitude, and it's about the approach."
The coach did hint that he may bring in some changes in the starting XI after having a final look at the condition of the players. "We still have 24 hours to go. We will have a clear picture about the players in the evening after we finish the training session. At that time, we will get to know how the players are feeling, how much the legs are loaded," he averred.
Stimac has made no displeasure about the final result against Bangladesh. "We have analysed our game against Bangladesh and we are not happy with the final result. We are two points from what we have to have in our kitty. So, we need to do everything possible to win against Sri Lanka. We respect Sri Lanka as a team. I feel they could have two points from the two games they played. But they don't have any, and that's football," he averred.
"We need to be better defensively. If we can't score the second goal, we need to make sure that we don't concede the second goal. Man marking is extremely necessary when u plays serious football, and we just cannot keep giving the balls away," the coach maintained. The players had a morning stroll and exercise session on the beach, while the practice session was slated for the afternoon.
Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu felt the most pertinent task at the moment is "to minimise the mistakes". (IANS)