India’s draw towards Asian champions Qatar in a World Cup qualifier final yr was one among their greatest outcomes however coach Igor Stimac doesn’t wish to put stress on his gamers by promising a victory within the return leg. India play Qatar in Bhubaneswar on October eight earlier than taking over Bangladesh (away match) on November 12 and Afghanistan in Kolkata on November 17. India are already out of competition for a berth within the 2022 World Cup however they’re nonetheless within the reckoning for the 2023 Asian Cup as it’s a joint qualification marketing campaign. The 52-year-old Stimac mentioned promising victory towards Qatar will likely be suicidal however his facet will play to not lose the match.
“With strong belief in what we do and a clear mindset, everything is possible. We are certainly not going to come out on the pitch to lose the game. But to promise victory against Asian champions and such a great team as Qatar would be suicidal,” Stimac informed PTI in an interview from his residence in Croatia.
“We are in the process of building up a new respectable team and I am trying to avoid putting our youngsters under extra pressure so they can enjoy their football and gain experience for the future.”
With worldwide friendlies and aggressive matches unlikely to be held within the subsequent few months, Stimac mentioned his gamers face an “enormous” activity forward of their sport towards Qatar.
“The (ongoing) long break isn’t a concern for us. Under current circumstances — the COVID-19 pandemic — there’s no possibility of organising any international friendlies, and the leagues won’t kick-off either. So the task which we are facing before the World Cup Qualifiers is enormous,” he mentioned.
Due to the pandemic, the home season has been pushed again by two months with the switch season set to run from August 1 to October 31.
Both the Indian Super League and I-League will start solely after that.
It continues to be not clear and the Asian Football Confederation will not be able to say now if the upcoming scheduled matches will likely be performed in entrance of spectators.
But Stimac mentioned taking part in behind shut doorways towards Qatar and Afghanistan will likely be a “great disadvantage” for hosts India.
“Everyone knows how important are our supporters to us all the way back from the start. I just pray that everything settles down until October. The team looks forward to playing in front of a full house — both in Bhubaneswar, and Kolkata,” mentioned the previous Croatia defender who was part of the bronze profitable staff in 1998 World Cup.
He additionally mentioned that the summoning of the nationwide camp earlier than the matches will likely be consistent with authorities directives.
“Initially there would be tests conducted on all the (national camp) attendees which will help us to gauge how much professional and serious they were during their stay at home during the COVID-19 period.”
“We intend on going in for a rigorous training, and all throughout we aim to focus on tactical points for the Qatar game which will be adjusted to our capacities at that stage.”
Stimac mentioned he was in fixed contact with the nationwide staff gamers through the ongoing pandemic, instructing them to remain protected and execute each day coaching regime.
“We were providing lectures to our players throughout the WhatsApp group on different aspects of football and trying to develop our player’s knowledge about nutrition, rest, flexibility, explosive power and other relevant aspects.”
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