Midfielder Rowlin Borges feels that the style of play adopted by Igor Stimac was responsible for India conceding so many goals against UAE in the fixture last month. The Blue Tigers were humbled 0-6 in their friendly against the Gulf Nation, which was their worst defeat in a decade.
With India needing to win at least two matches in the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers to book a berth for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, the friendly matches against Oman and UAE last month was their final preparation ahead of the showdown. Even though the Igor Stimac lead side held Oman to a 1-1 draw, they were humiliated 0-6 by UAE in the following encounter.
The result drew criticisms from all corners, with the experimental attitude shown by the manager the talk of the hour, with him fielding more than 10 debutants across two matches. However, Indian midfielder Rowling Borges feels that the style adopted by Igor Stimac, unlike predecessor Stephen Constantine, was responsible for India conceding so many goals against UAE.
“Under Constantine, the onus was to be compact and play direct football. Under Stimac, we try to keep the ball and we are more open. I feel that is the one reason why we conceded so many goals against UAE recently. We tried to keep possession and tried to open up. That is perhaps the difference when we lost by two goals in 2019 and by six goals in 2021,” said Rowlin Borges, as reported by Firstpost.
The Mumbai FC star was not part of the squad that suffered the country's worst loss in a decade, but he feels that the players are not playing up to their mark or replicating the ideas of Igor Stimac on the field. Yet despite that, he is optimistic that the bunch would be able to live up to the expectations in the future.
“We are trying our level best. The coach is trying to get his ideas through to the players but I don’t think we (players) are playing the best way or the way the coach wants. Together though, with the help of each other, I think we can do it (getting used to the new philosophy),” added the Croat.