Sports Reporter GUWAHATI, Sept 4: We are a better team now with no injury problems, said Indian coach Igor Stimac. The Croatian coach said in the pre-match press conference here today, “We are working hard with full support from the All India Football Federation and hope to do well in tomorrow’s match.”
Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri and coach Igor Stimac during a pre-match press conference in Guwahati, on Wednesday. – UB Photos
India will play against Oman in the Group E home match of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup Championship 2023 China pre joint qualification Round 2 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, here tomorrow. The match will start at 7.30 pm.
Igor revealed that although all the players in the present team are fit and fine, the team will miss the services of Jeje Lalpekhlua and Amarjeet Singh who are in recovery stage after sustaining injury.
The coach added that although the Indian team has conceded few goals in the recent past, the team also fared considerably well in some matches against Thailand and some other teams in international engagements.
Igor said he is working with the Indian team in an Indian style but not in European style and sees a bright future of Indian football. “I see a bright future of the Indian team as Sunil is guiding the youngsters ably. I am extremely happy for the young brigade who are working hard with very sincere efforts.”
India captain Sunil Chhetri, who was looking confident, said all the players are raring to go in tomorrow’s match and hopefully the team will come out with a positive result.
“Sitting here it can’t be said about the result but as a team we are committed to put our best effort,” said the experienced Indian captain.
Oman coach also hoped for the best result. Erwin Koeman of the Netherlands said they are here for a best possible result.
“India is a relatively good team at present. Before a home crowd the Indian team will definitely put their best effort and it will definitely be a tough job for us.
“I am happy with the Oman team and its composition. All the players are fit and fine and I am sure they will leave no stones unturned,” he added.
Captain Ahmed Mubarak said they have to face a stiff challenge from the Indian team.
“Presently the Indian team is performing well in the international circuit. So we have to work really hard. However, we have no pressure and will play our natural game,” he said.
When asked whether the hot and humid weather condition may be a cause of concern for them, both the coaches and the captains said, there should not be any excuse for the conditions.