The Dutch coach hopes to play on FIFA days in a bid to improve the team's ranking while scouting for fresh talent from the I-League sides...EXCLUSIVE
Indian national team coach Wim Koevermans is of the opinion that concentration has to be 100% at all times, regardless of the opposition as the Men in Blue are expected to prepare for the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers.
Team India has been clubbed alongside Myanmar, Chinese Taipei and Guam in Group A of the qualifiers to be played in Myanmar on the 2, 4 and 6 March 2013.
"It (the draw) is okay," Koevermans told Goal.com. "We go to any tournament to win it and any opposition that we play, we have to be 100% concentrated to do the job. We proved that in the Nehru Cup, although we lost the game in Singapore - the big part of the game which we played quite well, but conceded two unnecessary goals in my opinion. Sometimes it's (goals) avoidable, but that happens in football."
Although only Myanmar (156) are ranked above India (169), while Chinese Taipei and Guam are ranked 176th and 181st respectively, the former Netherlands international feels that caliberating his side's chances ahead of a time is something that he doesn't necessarily believe in.
"We respect every team and if you think before that 'we might have a chance' or 'it's going to be difficult', you know, it's always a bad thing to do," he stated. "You have to be focused on your own qualities and take into consideration that your opposition always wants to win the game as well. So I never say that this is going to be an easy game. That probably never happens."
|Koevermans (far right) watching I-League matches in Goa|
Koevermans has been a regular figure at all the important I-League fixtures this season as he scouts for new talent for the national camp.
"I'm thinking constantly. I travel a lot, see a lot of games. We monitor them on a weekly basis. For the players who are good enough to come into the national team, there's always an opportunity," he said.
He however preferred not to name any player in specific who might have caught his eye lately. "Not good to give names, because I want to see them a couple of times and if I am convinced that they are good enough, I'll probably invite them in one of the games that we're going to have," he said.
|Let's make it count henceforth|
Reflecting on the 2012 Nehru Cup back in February this year, it has to be noted that India were not awarded any FIFA points despite being champions as the tournament was played on non-FIFA matchdays, while Cameroon had sent their B side.
"That's a separate tournament (Nehru Cup), but if the FIFA days are there, I want to use every FIFA day," he stressed.
"It's what I said in the beginning when they asked me when do I want to play. Well, everybody knows the FIFA calendar. So we already plan the games, but not the oppositions, of course. And the clubs know the dates and when to release the players," he mentioned.
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