Focus on keeping the ball and building up from the back: Blue Tiger’s new mantra

focus on keeping the ball and building up from the back.

Since Stimac’s appointment as head coach, a striking feature of the Blue Tigers has been their style of play – with more focus on keeping the ball and building up from the back.

“Everyone has seen how the coach wants us to play,” expressed centre-back Sandesh Jhingan, before adding that the players are “loving” the new system. “It’s not easy to implement a new possession-based style. We have to be brave and I can say that from our games against Curacao (King’s Cup) to Syria (Hero Intercontinental Cup), we have improved a lot. We have the right kind of players and everyone in the team has loved the new approach,” he said.

The team underwent a training camp in Goa, that began on August 20, prior to their much-awaited qualifier clash against Oman. Talking about the transition in the playing style, Sandesh mentioned that they have been working on it both on and off the pitch. “Training has been about building patterns on the pitch and making them a natural part of our games. As a centre-back, I have to play out from the back and every player is adapting to his new role as well. Off the field, we are studying as well and we keep getting videos and clippings from the staff, that help us learn better,” he explained.

One of the key players for Stimac has been midfielder Sahal Abdul Samad, who has appeared in each of India’s five international games they have played so far. He stated that he is developed a “great understanding” with his fellow midfielders.

“Training has been intense – we are always pushing each other that extra yard. Off the field, we are like brothers. We have developed a great understanding in midfield and know each other’s movements – when to make what run and when to stay back. Knowing that I have the support behind me also gives me the confidence to push forward as well,” said Sahal. Another face to emerge has been Anirudh Thapa, who scored the lone goal in India’s win away to Thailand in the King’s Cup in June. “I like what the coach wants from us,” he expressed.

Thapa continued, “He wants us to keep the ball and keep possession. I like it and it suits me well. Adapting to it is a challenge but we are gelling well together in midfield. We are working on improving our understanding and game-reading.”

Udanta Singh, who has 22 senior appearances to his name, also spoke about the team’s preparation, saying that the team is hoping to put its best foot forward on the pitch. “We all are working hard on the ground and the gym. We are all raring to go and hoping to do our best on the field. With the previous matches we have played, we got to learn our strengths and weaknesses and now we are working on them accordingly,” he said.

“All the boys want to play with the ball and the coach wants to build up from the back. But it is not easy so we keep trying. Mistakes will happen but the coach is there to help us out. I like whatever works for everyone,” Udanta concluded.

For Trial related updates: Latest trials updates in Mumbai Football
Also Read: Old but still Gold: Mumbai’s old warhorses can still pull strings on-field

Football Counter would love to hear your thoughts or feedback on your experience: Feedback on Football Counter experience
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all the latest happenings in the world of Indian football

Lemon Break Sports FC to conduct trials for MFA 1st Division campaign

Lemon Break Sports FC is conducting trials for its first division side that will be playing in the MFA league for the upcoming season. Lemon Break SC is one of…


Kenkre FC to conduct trials for Senior Women’s Team

Mumbai-based Kenkre FC are slated to conduct trials for their Senior Women’s Football Team on the 9th of October at Neville Dsouza Ground, Bandra. Kenkre FC have long been regarded…


NLWS FC to hold trials for MDFA 3rd division

NLWS FC, a club based out of Dadar that will be playing in the MDFA 3rd division for the 2021-22 season will be holding trials next Sunday (10th October) Mauli…


Income Tax Football team to conduct trials for Elite Division Campaign

MDFA Elite Division side Income Tax Football team will be conducting trials for ‘Guest Players’ for its upcoming 2021-22 season. The team is now looking to rope in few ‘guest…


Oscar SSE to conduct trials for U 14 and U 16 category in Mumbai

Mumbai based Oscar SSE will conduct trials for their youth teams on 2nd and 3rd October at Wings Sports Centre ground. Oscar SSE is a 2-star AIFF Accredited Academy plying…


Footie First to conduct trials for MFA 2nd Division team

Footie first will be conducting trials for its first team which will play in the MFA 2nd Division 2021-22 season. While the club has definitely set standards by winning the…


Companeroes SC to conduct trials for MDFA 1st Division Campaign

Mumbai based MDFA 1st division side Companeroes Sports Club will be conducting open trials for their upcoming 2021-22 season. Players interested in appearing for the trials must have prior experience…


Madanpura FA, Sara FA to host trials for the upcoming MDFA season

Sara Football Academy and Madanpura FA to host trials for MDFA Super division & 2nd division and 3rd division respectively on the 30th August 2021. Sara FA will be hosting…


Mumbai Ultras FC invites all aspiring footballers for a trial

Mumbai Ultras FC is organising their trials for the upcoming season. The Mumbai Ultras play in the MDFA Super Division. The team is focused on the holistic aspects such as…


Oscar SSE to conduct trials for multiple age-groups in Mumbai

Mumbai based Oscar SSE will conduct trials for their youth teams on 17th April at the Karnatak Sports Association ground. Oscar SSE is a 2-star AIFF Accredited Academy plying their…