I-League 2017: We are not here to win or lose, reaffirms Luis Norton de Matos

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Formidable Minerva Punjab will look to continue their winning streak against Indian Arrows...

I-League leaders Minerva Punjab will host Indian Arrows in their own backyard in Ludhiana, Punjab on Monday.

Indian Arrows coach Luis Norton de Matos has stressed multiple times that it’s not the result he is after but the development of his young players. His side has had a break of 10 days in order to prepare for the upcoming challenge.

“We have worked on Minerva’s strength especially their throw-in and other set pieces. I again want to point out that we are not here to win or lose. We are here for the experience of the competitive matches. My team is very young. They are 18-year-old players and it’s essential that they play bigger, stronger opponents for their development. Minerva are the leaders of I-League and are a very strong side,” he said.

According to the India U-19 coach, Indian Arrows is a long-term project to make Indian players ready for European challenges.

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“Yes, it’s a long-term project. I don’t want to change my style of play for a different opponent every game. I want my players to play the same kind of football we are playing. So when these players are ready in two years of time for the senior side, they can counter European teams easily. In order to achieve this, the players need more competition,” he mentioned.

Possibly the happier of the two managers, Wangkhem Khogen Singh of Minerva Punjab said that he has no plans to rotate his squad.

“We want our winning streak to stretch as much as possible. We will not change our team or our tactics. We won’t play a weaker side no matter how our opponent is,” he signed off.