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Oman 1-0 India: Shyam Thapa - Now we don't concede three-four goals against middle-eastern teams

12:55 EAT 20/11/2019
Anas Edathodika Oman India
Shyam Thapa argues that Igor Stimac should have been given more time to prepare before flying for the qualifiers...

The All India Football Federation's (AIFF) Technical Committee chairman Shyam Thapa expressed his displeasure with India's tactics against Oman after they went down 1-0 in their fifth 2022 World Cup qualifier on Tuesday while noting that there has been improvement in the team's defence.

The Blue Tigers could hardly moved the ball in the opposition half and had their backs against the wall for the bulk of the opening 45 minutes. But he highlighted that India do not get run over by strong middle-eastern countries anymore.

"I don't why India is playing so defensively in the first half. We are starting to attack only in the second half and by that time we have already conceded. We should play our natural game from the start. We have nothing to lose now. Yesterday was a do-or-die match and we should have gone for the win from the start. It has proven that we have improved. Now we don't concede three-four goals against middle-eastern teams.

"We should build on our confidence. We are appreciating the coach's efforts. But he should be more courageous. Against Afghanistan and Bangladesh also we showed too much respect. We should put pressure on these teams and not even think of playing for a point," opined the former legend. 

Stimac's men have found the net only thrice in five matches and Thapa, who himself was a renowned striker, is concerned about the lack of options available upfront. 

"We have serious problems in attack. A team cannot depend always on Sunil. We need other players to step up. Sunil (Chhetri) is not getting younger. Jhingan's absence is also a major loss. We are lacking somebody who can lead from the back and plug the gaps. Also during set-pieces, he is being missed," stated the former India international. 

The India national team held a brief camp in New Delhi before flying to Dushanbe but Thapa asserts that Stimac should have given more time to work with the players before facing tough opponents like Afghanistan and Oman. 

"Stimac should be given more time to train with the players. This is not any friendly tournament or any international match. We are playing the World Cup Qualifiers. A coach needs time to set up his team and implement his ideas. He should have been given at least 15 days to prepare before these two matches. If the players directly go to play these kinds of important matches you will suffer. The AIFF must plan for this. The federation must understand that preparation is the most important aspect of football."