Mon, 02 Aug 2021

New Delhi [India], June 19 (ANI): India football team coach Igor Stimac has said even Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho could not do better than him in the current circumstances with the Blue Tigers.

India ended its 2022 World Cup qualification campaign with four draws, three losses and one win from eight matches. The side was able to score six goals while they conceded seven goals.

"I could be fired but not even (Pep) Guardiola or (Jose) Mourinho could do more in these circumstances," quoted Stimac as saying.

Talking about the qualification tournament, Stimac said: "Somehow we managed to finish in the second round of the (World Cup) qualifiers in the third position which was our target. Now we need to prove ourselves in the third round with more quality in the passing football, especially in the final third. How to herd the opponent in the final third comes from the way you play in the domestic league."The Blue Tigers head coach has brought a lot of fresh blood into the team in the last two years, and amongst them, he feels that midfielder Brandon Fernandes stands out as one who has helped with this transformation into a more technical team.

While a lot of new faces have come into the Blue Tigers squad, some have remained a constant, much like a backbone in India starting XI. Stimac believes that these players, despite being some of the seniors in the team, have improved their game over the last two years.

"What I am proud of is that a lot of players are better than what they were two years ago. Sunil (Chhetri) is better than two years back, and so is Gurpreet (Singh Sandhu).""Sandesh is twice as good today, than what he was two years back. He is one of the best defenders in Asia. With a bit more work on a few things, he can become the best," Stimac averred. (ANI)

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