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'Igor Stimac is a very positive coach' - Anirudh Thapa reveals how the India head coach is different from others

17:48 BST 18/05/2021
Igor Stimac, Anirudh Thapa
The Chennaiyin midfielder opined that the upcoming World Cup qualifiers will be a tough challenge for the Indian players...

Anirudh Thapa has revealed that coach Igor Stimac was dejected after India's 6-0 defeat to UAE back in March 2021. 

The Chennaiyin midfielder, who had featured in India's starting eleven in that game, said that result was a hard pill to swallow for the players as well as their coach as no one expected a six-goal drubbing.

What did Anirudh Thapa say?

"Obviously, he was disappointed because no one was expecting that result. We last played against UAE in the Asian Cup and we did pretty well but this time it was clearly the opposite. The message was that, that he was disappointed and we need to work harder.

"UAE are one of the top teams in Asia and we have to also consider that there were several new players. The coach was trying to give them chance to help them cope with international football. He was happy to see those young players getting their chances. But of course, overall he was disappointed because the result was not in our favour," said Thapa.

The midfielder was all praise for coach Igor Stimac and pointed out one thing that sets Igor Stimac apart from the other coaches he has played for.

"The training is good. What he (Igor Stimac) likes is keeping more possession. He talks with everyone and motivates everyone. Whether you had a bad training session or a bad match, he never discourages his players. He is a very positive coach and that is what makes him different from others. His training sessions are well planned and systematic," opined the Chennaiyin star.

The 23-year-old player also mentioned that the Indian team needs to work more on creating goal-scoring chances which were lacking in the earlier World Cup qualifying games.

"The performance was the same but just that in the last Qatar game we played in a different style. In the game against Afghanistan and Bangladesh, we were more on the ball. We kept ball possession it's just that we were not able to create more chances. We have to focus on that and score more goals in order to win games. Now we will obviously try to score more goals," suggested the midfielder.

'Playing competitive football after a long gap is difficult'

"It is difficult because you can maintain your fitness at home and do everything but in the back of your mind, you know that you haven't played a competitive match in a long time. Also, the injury concern is there because when you haven't played a competitive match in a while your body reacts in a different way. What we can do is stay fit so that our body is always in sync," the Chennaiyin star opined.

He further added, "It is very difficult to just sit in one room, you cannot go out. You need to be mentally strong. As a professional, we need to be prepared for what is coming up. If we are not focused or concentrate on what is coming up it can cost us. So or the other way we are trying to be focused. It is very important to have a hobby like listening to music, watching a series or a movie or reading books."