‘We are looking for options in right-back position’ – Ahead of Nepal friendly Igor Stimac wary of right-back woes
The Indian coach is happy to play friendly matches against Nepal ahead of the SAFF Championship…
India are all set to take on Nepal in the first of the two international friendly matches on September 2 at the Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu, Nepal.
As a part of their preparation for the upcoming SAFF Championship 2021, which will be held in October in Maldives, the Blue Tigers will play two friendly matches against Nepal on September 2 and September 5.
This will be the first time India will play an international game since facing Afghanistan on June 15 in their final group game of the 2018 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup joint-qualifiers in Qatar. The match had ended in a 1-1 draw.
Ahead of facing Nepal, Stimac suggested that he expects his team to play quality football against Nepal and hopes that rain won’t play a spoilsport in the upcoming friendly matches.
What did Igor Stimac say?
“We are very happy to be here and play some friendly games before the upcoming SAFF competition. Of course, not everything is ideal but I just hope the games will be good. We hope all the players will be fit and ready and hope we won’t suffer due to heavy rain during the game so that we can play some good football.
“When I said that not everything was ideal I meant this. We didn’t have players from ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC with us. But most of them are a regular part of our team and they know what I am expecting. We are happy that they had some AFC Cup games so they are all in good fitness condition in regards to others who directly came to us from off-season. It is not going to be easy but the boys worked really hard,” stated the Indian head coach.
What did Igor Stimac say about opponents Nepal?
“We did our work on analysing our opponent. Obviously, the Nepalese team made progress in the recent qualifiers. They showed they can play good football. Defensively they have improved quite a lot and now they show that they can defend as a unit,” said the Croatian coach.
‘Seriton Fernandes will get his chance now’
The Indian coach revealed that he is planning to hand FC Goa right full-back, Seriton Fernandes, possibly in the second friendly match as he feels that he needs to explore more options in that role.
“We have only Seriton Fernandes who is new to this team. He was supposed to be with us during the last three qualifiers but for COVID reasons he could not join us but he will get his chance now because we have suffered in that right full-back position for quite a while and we are looking for options. He will get his chance maybe not in the first game because he joined us very late but he may play in the second game,” suggested Stimac.