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Derrick Pereira: Future India coach should understand Indian football and its culture

12:25 PM EDT 3/21/19
Derrick Pereira India U23
The 56-year-old also believes that Indian coaches need to be exposed to modern tools and techniques in order to improve Indian football

Indian football team are without a head coach ever since the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in January where the Blue Tigers crashed out in the group stages, following which Stephen Constantine stepped down as head coach.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) had announced that the next India coach will be appointed only by around April-May. Constantine was also in charge of the India U-23 team.

In February, the AIFF handed the India U-23 coach job to Derrick Pereira in order to prepare for the upcoming 2020 AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers that is set to start in Uzbekistan from March 22.

The FC Goa technical director shared with Goal the qualities he thinks the future coach of the Indian national team should possess.

"Whoever comes in should first of all understand Indian football and its culture. He has to know where we stand. He has to understand that and then plan a method to get to the next level. We need to play against top nations in at least Asia. The efforts from grassroots or from youth [development] should be towards that.

"Yes, we need results. But in the long run we have to find a way to dominate in Asia by playing good football. It's a long process and the future coach should understand that and come with a plan to develop our football," he said.

As part of a wider restructure throughout Indian football, Derrick Pereira also divulged his thoughts on how important is it for Indian coaches to be exposed to modern tools and techniques - just like players.

"It is always said that good coaches develop good players. So we need to have top class coaches in India. And by that, I mean that Indian coaches need to have that quality. Yes, we have some good, knowledgeable coaches. Indian football has been growing. People are respecting Indian football. So we have to move forward now.

"It depends on how we develop players, whether it is by sending them to exposure trips or getting information from there and implementing it here in our system. Once we do that, it will help Indian football," he opined.

The Goan gaffer has held a camp for his India U-23 troops in Goa before traveling for a friendly against Qatar which they lost.

In the 2020 AFC U-23 Championships qualifiers, India will face Tajikistan and Uzbekistan on March 22 and 24 respectively. The group winners will directly qualify for the main event while the runners-up will have to keep an eye on the ranking of second-placed teams from 11 groups.