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Ahead of the all important 2013 AFC Challenge Cup qualifier, India's head coach Wim Koevermans discusses about his side's preparation for the matches ahead...

The Indian team's preparatory training camp was held in Pune and Wim Koevermans was delighted with the facilities provided and by the determination shown by his team during the camp.

"The boys worked hard and so did the staff.There was a reason for the camp and we accomplished it.I need to thank the authorities in Pune for their co-operation and also the AIFF for arranging the preparatory camp.Things are working in the right direction and that's important."

"The players will have to get used to the tempo's of the training sessions. The sessions were of very high intensity and the players adjusted well," commented the Dutchman

The first game is of utmost importance in any tournament and the Blue Tigers coach reiterated the fact as he mentioned, "At the moment we are focusing on Chinese Taipei, our first opponent in the Challenge Cup qualifiers.It is the first game of the tournament and is really important to us. We are providing them (players) information and they are learning about them (Chinese Taipei)."

The Indian team was dealt a blow when Arnab Mondal and Sandesh Jhingan left the training camp midway due to injury and Koevermans addressed the issue and he revealed, "Unfortunately injuries are a part of training camps, anywhere in the world. They were freak ones but we need to move on. That is the reason we had called for a bigger group of players. Even after Sandesh Jhingan was ruled out, we called for an extra defender(Rowilson Rodrigues) to ensure we had enough quality players for the tournament."

It takes time for the players to get used to new conditions,surfaces etc and Myanmar will be no different. Team India were the first team to arrive in Yangon and one would have to say that it was a wise decision keeping in mind that acclimatisation is important in an tournament of such importance.

The former Dutch International was in unison with this concept as he commented "I would say that acclimatisation is the most important. The idea stays to get enough rest to overcome and adjust after the hectic travel schedules. Travelling is tiring and it takes its toll, especially if you travel to a different time zone. One needs to remember that in Asia, you need to travel long and hence acclimatisation is important. The boys have adjusted superbly so far and we have had a light practice session in the first afternoon".

"Having said that, the boys from Churchill and East Bengal couldn't arrive together with the group, courtesy the AFC Cup schedule.They need to recover fast and stay fresh" the Indian coach further added.

Understanding how the opponents play and analysing their strengths and weaknesses are an important part of the modern game. The Blue Tigers did not leave anything to chance, as Koevermans revealed that they had worked hard on understanding the opposition's game.

"We take every opposition seriously. In a build-up to a match,we need to analyse our rival teams and stay 100% prepared. We need to see the players, their qualities, their strengths and weaknesses and prepare accordingly," he signed off.

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