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The Dutchman will pit his wits against his Jordanian counterpart Jamal Mahmoud as the Blue Tigers take on the Middle-Easterners at Kochi....

For someone who comes from the land that introduced the world to 'Total Football', Wim Koevermans, the India coach, knows how important it is for players to work in tandem with their team-mates. He is also not one to underestimate his opponents, in this case Palestine whom his team face in a friendly at Kochi later today.

"Palestine look a very competent side," said Koevermans during the pre-match media address. "Nine of their players who had done duty in the West Asia Cup in December 2012 are in the squad. We have watched them in videos and they are a powerful side. It will be an interesting match for sure," opined the Dutchman.

Wim was seen drilling the nuances of team ethics into his players during training sessions.

"Teamwork is very important. Help each other. The transition to defend stays most significant. It’s not only about what you do with the ball but what you do when you don’t have it. Defending is helping each other," the coach stressed.

Like Koevermans, his players have also realised the importance of this game. 

"It’s an important match for us," said centre-half Gouramangi Moirangthem.

"No challenge on the ground is easy. It’s up to the team to rise to the occasion; we have to. We have done it in the past. The coach has enlightened us on a few points and we are ready," stressed midfielder Mehtab Hossain.

As for Palestine, they have arrived in India with a young and inexperienced side as a vast majority of their first choice XI are busy with their club committments. National coach Jamal Mahmoud, who has moulded the team into a strong unit, feels the match against India would be an interesting one.

"India are a capable side. We are happy to be in India," Mahmoud said.

 

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