It’s unfortunate that there is no telecast of the two friendlies – India coach Wim Koevermans
India’s international friendly against Philippines on Friday in Siliguri was witnessed by a crowd of around 15000. That is a great turnout considering the poor average attendances in the I-League and an even bigger crowd is expected on Tuesday when India host Nepal at the same venue as many Nepali fans are also expected to be at the Kanchenjunga Stadium.
There is clearly plenty of interest in the game in both nations so the fact that there will be no telecast is a big setback for the fans. The Philippines friendly also wasn’t shown on television and India coach Wim Koevermans symphatised with the fans.
“It’s match between two neighbours so I expect fans for both teams and therefore it should produce a cracking atmosphere in the ground. But yes it is unfortunate that match won’t be telecasted. I would have liked both matches to be telecasted and I wish I could have done something about it but unfortunately I can’t,” Koevermans stated at the pre-match press conference on Monday.
Having lost to Nepal 2-1 at the 2013 SAFF Championship, Koevermans admitted that Tuesday’s game gives India a chance to take revenge but didn’t comment on whether their opponents will be a little tired as 13 of their players were in action at the Sikkim Governors Gold Cup instead of preparing for this friendly.
“Well yes it’s a chance to take some revenge. When you lose to a team, you always want to beat them when you face them next. So we want to win this game and produce a performance for our fans. I don’t know (if Nepal team is tired) as I want to focus on my own team and our preparations,” the Netherlands international said.
The 53-year-old hinted that he could rotate the side and is not concerned by the fact that his team have managed only two goals from open play in their last eight matches.
“Yes I might rotate, we will have to assess after today’s final training session. No I am not worried by that statistic as we have been creating chances and encouragingly they are falling to many players. We have to take those chances of course but don’t have to put too much pressure on ourselves by thinking about previous games,” Koevermans opined.
The Euro 1988 winner also congratulated goalkeeper Subrata Pal, who was dropped from the national squad for the two November friendlies as he didn’t have an I-League club but has now been offered a six-month contract by Danish top tier outfit FC Vestsjaelland.
“That’s great news for him. I am very happy to hear that. It’s of course important that he plays there every week but it won’t be easy. I know sitting on the bench there won’t be ideal but at least he will get to learn a lot as training sessions at that level are quite tough too,” he concluded.Published 18 Nov 2013, 16:45 IST