The Pakistani medio was joined by teenager Mansoor who explained that playing in India would be a unique experience...
The Pakistan football team are gearing up for their bilateral series against India in full flow as Saddam Hussein, a midfielder for the Shaheens, prepares to meet his archrivals on the pitch.
“Despite the rest period from the national camp, it is mandatory for every player to keep practicing,” elucidated the 20-year old Hussain, who plays for KRL FC, to The Express Tribune.
“Having a break from the camp doesn’t mean it’s a holiday.
“The national camp will resume in August, but I need to be confident that I’m 100% ready to take on the challenge. India is a tough side on their home ground. I just want to make sure that I’ve done everything so that I can play my best for the team.”
Hussein explained that the players were putting their foot to the pedal as they geared up to face their old South Asian nemesis, especially after being ousted by India at the South Asian Football Federation’s (SAFF) Cup in September last year.
Hussein also stressed the importance of practicing alongside understanding the game.
“If players don’t keep their fitness in check during the month-long break from the camp, it can spell disaster. I practice in the field for two hours before Iftar and train in the gym for another one-and-a-half-hour afterwards,” he explained.
“We have a young side, the oldest player is 24 years old. Coach Mohamed Shamlan is trying his best to get us ready in time,” added the young sapling.
Teenager Mansoor Khan, who will be making his debut against Indian opposition as a Shaheen, revealed he had also been training hard.
“I’m putting extra effort during the break, because it’s India. It’s a different state of mind altogether,” elaborated Mansoor.
Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi, Pakistan Football Federation’s (PFF) secretary, said that the national camp for the two matches will kick-off in the first week of August, with the camp based in the north eastern city of Lahore.
India will take on Pakistan in two international friendlies scheduled for August this year, hosted at Bangalore.