India football team coach Igor Stimac has asked fans not to expect too much from their national side given their dismal record against the opponents that India are clubbed with at the FIFA qualifiers. He has also complained about the lack of game time that his side will need to encounter.
Prior to their resumption of the I-League and the Indian Super League, India would be playing Oman for their first match of the FIFA qualifiers. Clubbed alongside the likes of Qatar, Oman, Bangladesh and Afghanistan in Group E, Stimac has been wary of India’s poor record against them and asked the fans to not expect much.
“We need to be careful with our expectations. We don’t have a good record against the opponents at either the senior or under-23 level,” said the coach, reported TOI.
“We have never won [competitive match] against Qatar and Oman. Bangladesh and Afghanistan too have always been difficult opponents for us. Against Oman, we played seven times and drew two games, both friendlies. We lost all five competitive games. That tells you quite a lot,” he added.
Another huge problem for the coach has been the Blue Tigers’ lack of game time at the highest level in practice games. Since taking charge, Stimac has taken his side to only the King’s Cup and the Intercontinental Cup, failing to win both.
However, while he has admitted that his side has a realistic chance of progressing to the next stage of the Asian qualifiers, he has lamented the lack of game time pointing out that the league starting late and the long break following that would be a hindrance in team’s improvement.
“That’s the biggest headache. The league is starting late and it’s too short. There are not too many games and the break is too long. We must do something to help the national team,” he said.
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi