We have to improve on our reaction to the second ball: Igor Stimac

Igor Stimac

Ever since taking charge of the Indian National Team on May 15, newly appointed Head Coach Igor Stimac has already identified a good future for Indian football spurred by youth development and robust progeny coming on the back of an inspiring performance in the AFC Asian Cup earlier this year.

In his first press conference, the Croat who won a bronze medal in the FIFA World Cup, touted India as a sleeping giant with huge potential and talked at length about his short-term goals, the team’s preparation, the challenges ahead and a lot more.

EXCERPTS:

What are your thoughts about Indian football?

Indian football is a sleeping giant and I see many good opportunities here with the youth coming up. The youngsters in the setup here are knocking on the doors of the senior national team and I am happy with the technical quality of the players. We can do great things and I am expecting a good future with the senior national team and the U-23 team.

I have read about Indian football a lot and I have a feeling that I have been here for 5 years already. I am overwhelmed by the chance given to me by the technical committee and we can improve, develop and get results with the young players that are knocking on the door.

What are your thought about India qualifying for the FIFA World Cup?

The main objective of any nation is to qualify for the FIFA World Cup and no one has stopped us from dreaming about qualifying. As strong is our dream, the stronger the belief becomes. If we are to qualify then hard work becomes important along with the willingness to learn every day, more professionalism and more communication.

My job here won’t just be to improve the senior team and the U-23 team but holistically improve football in the nation. The jobs of meeting the local clubs and helping them is something that I am ready to do.

What will be your coaching philosophy?

The coaching philosophy would be based on giving more tactical options. Football is going up rapidly and we need to speed up. I need to appreciate the former coach Stephen Constantine for taking India from 173 to 101 in the FIFA Rankings as doing something like that is not easy. But he opted for a more defensive style of play that was more effective to the players that he had.

I will do my best to give more tactical options and plans to switch from one option to the other in the game because when you are losing 1-0 you can’t sit back and defend. At that point we need to evolve into another concept of a football system.

Good things will not happen overnight but with a bit of luck and understanding between my staff, players and the AIFF will be good. I have already seen many talented players with great capacity and they are ready to perform.

How has been the national camp so far?

We have tested the physical abilities of the players as they were coming from off-season and it was important to know their physical conditions. I will finish the working plan of how much intensity I can put on them because we don’t want the players to go to their clubs injured.

So far, the players are in good condition and I am satisfied with them. We will start working on technicalities and will adapt to the game-play which suits us best. We don’t have much time to change a lot and I have to decide about the 25-26 players that will be staying with us and then choose the final list of the 23 players.

What are your thoughts on the senior players in the team?

I speak everyday with all of the players to get information from them and players like Sunil Chhetri, Sandesh Jhingan are role models for the young players coming up and I am quite happy with their behaviour.

What areas of improvement have you spotted?

We need to improve our concentration and our tactical knowledge and movement in the game. We also have to improve on our reaction to the second ball, which is one of the most important things in football today. However, we need to develop quick players with good speed and with hearts of lions and tigers.

What will your short term goals be?

Good results start with good defending and that is something which we have to work upon. We need to work on the centre-back position and we need to find more players to challenge for those spot to develop a healthy competition.

– Courtesy AIFF media
Also Read: FC Goa signs Seiminlen Doungel on a free transfer
Also Read: Iron Born FC to conduct trials for their youth teams
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all the latest happenings in the world of Indian football.

Regal FC trials postponed to April

Mumbai based MDFA 3rd Division side Regal FC has postponed their upcoming trials to a new tentative date in April, amidst the Corona Virus outbreak Regal football Club had earlier announced…

Share

Mumbai Marines FC to hold trials for MDFA 1st Division

Newly promoted side Mumbai Marines FC are on the lookout for players for the upcoming season of the MDFA 1st Division, the club announced. After a successful MDFA 2nd Division…

Share

Regal FC to conduct trials for 3rd Division campaign

Mumbai based MDFA 3rd Division side Regal FC will be conducting a two day football trials for city footballers for their upcoming season Regal football Club has announced that they…

Share

GKW Rangers FC to conduct YPL U14 and 3rd Division trials

Mumbai based GKW Rangers FC will conduct trials for its MDFA 3rd division side as well as its U14 age group team that competes in MDFA Yuva Premier League U14….

Share

Rhino Sports Academy to conduct trials on March 15th

Mumbai based Rhino Sports Academy will be conducting trials for its upcoming seasons of MDFA 1st Division and MDFA 3rd Division Rhino Sports Academy will be fielding a side each…

Share

OSCAR SSE to conduct age group trials for its 2020-21 Season Elite Program

OSCAR SSE, a 2 star AIFF Accredited Academy, will be conducting age group trials (U13, U15 and U18 players) to induct in its Elite Program for 2020-21 season All the…

Share

Sterling FA to conduct 2nd round of trials for MDFA 1st division team

Mumbai First Division side Sterling Football Academy will be conducting their 2nd round of trials for their MDFA 1st Division campaign this Saturday 29nd Feb Sterling Football Academy will be…

Share

Sterling FA to conduct trials for MDFA 1st division team

Mumbai First Division side Sterling Football Academy will be conducting trials for their MDFA 1st Division campaign this Saturday 22nd Feb Sterling Football Academy will be fielding a team in…

Share

Ex-Servicemen Social Education and Sports foundation to conduct trials for MDFA 1st & 3rd Division reams

Ex-Servicemen social education and sports foundation will be conducting trials for their MDFA 1st Division & 3rd Division sides The first round of trials for MDFA club Ex-Servicemen social education and…

Share

MDFA to host trials for WIFA Inter District Men’s Open Football Championship

The Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA), the governing body for football in Mumbai district is set to host their coaching camps and selection trials for the WIFA Inter District Men’s…

Share