Indian football team coach Igor Stimac has revealed that every player who didn’t get a chance to play against Curacao, would be playing against Thailand for the third-place match in the King’s Cup. The coach also expressed the need to remain injury-free ahead of the Intercontinental Cup.
Stimac learned a lot of things about his squad in their match against Curacao, which was a match of contrasting halves. After the first half saw the likes of Pronay Halder, Brandon Fernandes, and Lallianzuala Chhangte not having the needed impact, Stimac’s second half changes did change the game for India.
However, the manager has stated that his experimentation hasn’t ended and he would want to field quite a few different faces in their match against Thailand on Saturday, especially those who didn’t play against Curacao.
"All my players have been working very hard for the past 12 days or more. And I want to see every one of them on the pitch so that they can prove themselves. So, all the players who didn't get their chance in the previous match will get to play tomorrow. I will give them the chance to prove that they have more quality than the ones who played in the first match and make my decisions more difficult in the future," said Stimac, reported Goal.
Stimac was brought in at the helm for his practical approach to the game and it was reflected in his future plans. Knowing well that his job doesn’t hinge on India’s performance in the King’s Cup, he has been least bothered about winning any match in Thailand whatsoever.
Instead, his focus has been on keeping his players fit with important tournaments like Intercontinental Cup and World Cup Qualifiers coming hard and fast.
"We are in a position now where we are trying to change our style of play. It is very difficult. It is a completely different structure and approach. They are not used to that. I was very glad to see that our supporters in India liked the fact that our team was trying to play with lots of passing and dominating a team like Curacao who are 20 places ahead of us in FIFA ranking. That is our intention. I insist on such style.
"We have to keep ourselves free of injuries so that we can prepare well for the Intercontinental Cup in India. The World Cup qualifiers are also important. I see many coaches are already thinking about. Everybody wants to win,” he added.