Jack Stefanowski has upheld the faith in his squad and opines that they are going through a transitional phase while at the same time expecting his side to beat India once again, even though a few of his players are expected to miss the game.
India and Nepal square up to face each other in an international friendly at the Kanchenjunga stadium in Siliguri, India on November 19th.
“It’s very important, the rivalry between India and Nepal. So not only is this an important match to the players, but also the fans and folks back home,” started the coach who said he looked forward to the game with eager anticipation.
On being questioned of the fitness of his players, some of them who have participated in the Governors Cup in Sikkim, Stefanowski explained, “No. We obviously want to balance the club and country commitment, so we worked hard and intelligently to combine them both. The good thing is that the club teams are winning and so it’s good to come here with a winning mentality.”
Nepal have won the last tie between the two teams at the SAFF Championship and drew the game back in 2012 in the Nehru Cup where they dominated the proceedings.
“Yes, I think they (Nepal players) think it’s a rivalry. We will go out to win the match like we did against India at the SAFF championship,” said the American coach.
The troika of Bharat Khawas, Rohit Chand and Bimal Magar are set to miss the game, with Khawas on army duty and the latter duo of Chand and Magar turning up for trials with Danish Club FC Vestsjaelland, where India's Subrata Paul is all set to earn a six-month long contract, and FC Twente in Europe respectively.
Would Nepal miss the services of the above mentioned when facing India?
“No, it's a good chance of getting through this transition phase and it’s a good chance to give some other players a chance to start, to step up and see what they can do. So, it’s a nice balance between coming out and getting a result against India and also taking a look at some other guys.”
“It’s fantastic! You get a chance to leave home and go abroad and it’s wonderful for them,” was his opinion on Magar and Chand’s expedition abroad.
On being asked about the condition of midfielder Raju Tamang, the coach eniunciated, “We’re monitoring him. We haven’t decided if he is fit yet and will continue to monitor him over the next few days.”
“Our midfielder Jagjit Shrestha is also injured so I don’t have a final word on whether he’ll play or not,” was his explanation on being queried if the Three Star man would feature.
Asked if the presence of a large cortege of Nepali fans in Siliguri would be enough motivation for the Gorkhalis, Stefanowski chirped, “Yes, we are looking to having a home away from home and we hope to have a lot of Nepali fans behind us.”
The coach was optimistic and stated that he hoped to beat their neighbours on their home soil after having already downed them 2-1 in Nepal a couple of months back.
“That’s our objective, to make history again, this time in India’s home ground,” concluded the American.
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