Senior defender Sandesh Jhingan will probably be resting in India’s first ever FIFA international friendly against Singapore during the Hung Thinh Friendly Football Tournament in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on Saturday. Jhingan and teammate Chinglensana Singh did not travel with the team due to travel documents issues and only took a flight at 3am on Friday morning. According to sources in the team, head coach Igor Stimac may just let Jhingan miss the opening match and start him in the match against Vietnam, the team that has reached the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup 2019.
Head coach Stimac, however, looked confident but cautious ahead of India’s first meeting with Singapore in 10 years.
The Croatian coach said that although Singapore has made great progress in the past few years, India has the ability to tame opponents.
“Singapore has improved tremendously in recent years. They have a new coach who has made some changes in the system that often make it difficult for opponents. But I will tell my players. to play confidently against them and show exactly what we have. store for them,” said Stimac.
Stimac believes Singapore will play attacking football.
“Singapore plays pretty well, especially in the high pressing area. I’ve watched them press the ball all over the pitch to create things that make it difficult for the opponent. So there’s a slight advantage that they have in the matter,” the coach added.
The 55-year-old world champion is aware of some of the fitness challenges his team is facing.
Stimac also did not forget to mention that in terms of fitness and preparation, his team is a bit immature as the team only had a full training session in HCMC before entering the match.
“We shouldn’t ignore the fact that their fitness level is better than ours right now, but we need to stay calm and go out on the pitch with high spirits.” But he feels that he has enough players to keep Singapore’s attack running.
“I think we have enough players with technical ability, able to find a way out of such a tight situation, and with a lot of players in the midfield that makes it tight and difficult. But we will find space in weak positions and play according to our plan,” Stimac quipped.
The Blue Tigers will be seen for the first time after a successful campaign at the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers in June, where they played three games and finished with a 100% win record.
“Football is a process and we need to be patient. It’s a hard work process where you need to know what you need to do to get there in the end,” the coach said.
Stimac also mentioned the team’s performance in the June qualifiers, which was the result of an ongoing process kicked off for the players to prove themselves for the National team.
Stimac, who has just been extended to next year’s Asian Cup finals, said: “After the process of three years, we have more stability, composure and a better outlook than we did three years ago. I believe we have a better future”.
Topics covered in this article