The Igor Stimac era will commence on Wednesday as the Blue Tigers take on Caribbean side Curacao in the opener of the 2019 King’s Cup.
The winner of the tie will take on one of Vietnam or Thailand in the final. Indian team’s new boss expressed his excitement accompanying his new venture but reiterated that the results from these games will only be used for an analysis of the team’s strengths and weaknesses.
“I can’t say what is different (between Croatia and India) because the last 11-12 days have just been about the hotel room and the pitch. So, there are no conclusions yet. I am excited about the work of our team and the AIFF is excited about the new approach we have taken. I hope that this long-term project will bring us success and bring India back as a force in Asian Football.
“This is the first phase and the qualifier in September is what’s important. We have a fair time to think about Vietnam in the meantime. Only in the last few days did we see a few games of our opponents Curacao. I hope we do well and then we can analyse and find out the flaws in the players.
“My players are hoping to play Thailand again (in the finals). We have nothing against our opponents - the quicker we face the stronger teams, the better for us as we will know about how strengths and weaknesses and what we have done in the past weeks, he said.
The Croatian dismissed claims that arriving in Thailand after the Curacao team put India at a disadvantage. He also admitted that his team will be playing for a result, rather than going for aestheticism in their approach.
“The conditions here are similar to Delhi, where we trained in the last two weeks. I don’t see any problems with the condition here because there was a lot of heat in Delhi too. For us it’s important how we composed we will be on the pitch, apply what we have done in the last two weeks and stay concentrated. We don’t care about the heat, pitch or how big the crowd will be. It’s all the same for us.
“Everyone would like to play like Spain and France but that’s not possible for many of us. It’s a long way to come to that stage. We have to think about playing football that will get us results. My players know very well that I insist on low and quick passing, movements.
You won’t see us kicking the ball around all over the place without a clear idea. We will do what is needed to be done. We are going to try but how successful we are going to be is another question,” Stimac concluded.