Indian national team coach Igor Stimac has asserted that the youngsters in the team will not be expelled for committing one or mistakes, rather they will get ample opportunities to prove themselves. The Blue Tigers will face Oman and UAE on March 25 and March 29 respectively, in Dubai.
India will play their first international match in 16 months, since they faced Oman during the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers in November 2019. While the three fixtures left in the qualifiers have been scheduled for June later this year, the Blue Tigers are currently in Dubai for a couple of international friendlies against Oman and UAE.
With head coach Igor Stimac aiming to build-up a team for the future, a lot of fresh faces have been inducted into the squad after impressive performances in the recently concluded 2020-21 Indian Super League. The Croat has asserted that the youngsters in the team will not be eliminated for committing one or two mistakes, rather they will be given plenty of chances to prove themselves.
“The young guns proved it in Indian Super League this season. It's now for them to prove at the international level. I will give them the chance to do so.
"What we are doing here is trying to make them relax, and explain to them that there is no reason for fear at the international level. They need to be themselves and prove to the world that they can play against the best,” said Igor Stimac, from Dubai.
"There is no reason for anyone to feel scared or have any kind of fear. Not a single player will be eliminated for one or two mistakes but we are trying to work on not to repeat them,” added the manager.
Many of the players around the age of 20 have been plucked from the AIFF Elite Academy that was assembled for the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup, in India, with Stimac expecting to develop their knowledge.
"It's fantastic to see guys at 19, 20, 21, 23 making it to the national squad. We are trying to build on the FIFA U-17 World Cup, and develop their knowledge. We are trying to make sure that in the next four years they become ready to play against the best, and win against them. It's a long process in football, and it takes time,” explained the manager.