Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac spoke with the media ahead of the international friendly between India and UAE in Dubai on Sunday. The friendly will be played at the Zabeel Stadium in Dubai on Monday.
India come into the game on the back of a well-fought 1-1 draw with Oman in their previous international friendly. Igor Stimac handed debuts to 10 Indian players, thus making an all-time India record for most number of debuts in a single fixture.
Here are the key quotes from the head coach from AIFF Media ahead of the tie with UAE:
We need to hold the ball and control our passing: Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac
Igor Stimac began the press conference with his thoughts on the Indian football team's playing style.
“There are things we are too comfortable with. When you take too much time on the ball, the opponents will hurt you. We need to change that mindset. There is no time and space in international football, you have to adapt and play quickly,” said Stimac.
“We are looking to play these stronger teams so that we can advance our game. It's not always easy to find better opponents, because everyone is looking to find more out of the friendly matches.”
Stimac talked about players who have to be quick and adaptive in international football and how the other teams will always have a ''habitual'' advantage against India when it comes to playing with the ball.
“They will put us under a lot of pressure. But, we need to hold the ball and control our passing. I don’t expect us to control the game against much stronger opponents. They are a side that has been doing it for many years. But, we are here to learn from the experience,” Stimac added.
It is a great headache to have two good goalkeepers: Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac
Amrinder Singh saved a penalty in the Oman game which allowed India to eke out a well-contested draw in the previous friendly. However, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu is slated to start for India in the UAE fixture as captain.
Stimac talked about both the goalkeepers, saying:
“It’s great to have such headaches when you have two such good goalkeepers,” smiled Stimac. “It's not only that. Both of them are great human beings too. They do everything to keep the mood positive in the camp,” he said.
The Indian football team vs. the United Arab Emirates will kick-off at 08.30 PM IST. The game will be televised live on Eurosport SD/HD in India.