U-17 World Cup: Bhaichung Bhutia wants India to win the midfield battle

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The former India skipper shared his thoughts on India’s performance at the Under-17 World Cup…

Bhaichung Bhutia believes that it’s vital for the team to defend well against Ghana on Thursday evening but they mustn’t get into defensive mode altogether.

“India had in the past played against both USA and Colombia but never against Ghana; in fact, not that much against African teams as much as we have played in Europe and Latin America.

“Ghana are a very physical side and blessed with sublime skills of some individual players. India will have to defend like they have been doing as Ghana are a side which loves to attack right from the kick-off. But it's important not to get into the defensive shell. In International Football it's pertinent to strike the right balance, like we did against Colombia,” he wrote in a column.

Bhutia hailed the performance of right-back Boris Singh, who pretty much reminded Indian football fans of a certain Surkumar Singh.

“Boris Singh coming back to the start XI was a big plus for India. He is fearless and as always, initiated a lot of moves in the last match. His understanding with Ninthoi has been superb. It all boils down to the four years spent at the AIFF Academy and Boris had a hand in all of India's chances in the first-half,” he mentioned.

However, the former India captain had a piece of advice for India Under-17 coach Luis Norton de Matos.

“Personally, even as India have been compact at the back, I would like them to be closing down in the midfield much more. The rival midfielders have managed to maneuver in a bit of space and if you do that, you invite trouble.

“It gives the game makers the liberty to regulate the game at their will and in today's modern day football it's a luxury. I am sure coach de Matos will be thinking on the same lines.”






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