Senior defender Sandesh Jhingan can be rested on Saturday during India’s first international friendly against Singapore in the Hung Thinh Friendly Football Tournament in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Jhingan and teammate Chinglensana Singh did not join the team due to travel document issues and did not board until 3am on Friday morning. According to sources in the team, head coach Igor Stimac could just rest Jhingan before the opening match and give him a start against Vietnam, a team that reached the quarter-finals of the 2019 Asian Cup.
Head coach Stimac, however, sounded confident yet cautious on the eve of India’s first meeting with Singapore in 10 years.
The Croatian coach said that while Singapore has made huge strides in recent years, India has the ability to tame their opponents.
“Singapore has made great progress in recent years. They have a new coach, who has made some changes to the system that often make it difficult for the opponents. But I will tell my players to play against them with confidence and show them what exactly we have.” save them for them,” Stimac said.
Stimac thinks Singapore will play attacking football.
“Singapore is pretty good, especially in the high-pressure area. I’ve seen them push the ball all over the pitch to make things that make it difficult for the rivals. So there’s a little advantage they have in this respect ,’ the coach added.
The 55-year-old World Cupper is aware of some of the fitness challenges his team faces.
Stimac didn’t forget to mention that his team is somewhat undercooked in terms of fitness levels and preparations, as the squad only had one full session in Ho Chi Minh City before entering the competition.
“We should not ignore the fact that their condition is better than ours at the moment, but we have to be calm and come on the field with high morale.” But he feels he has enough players to keep Singapore’s offensive line at bay.
“I think we have enough players with technical skills who can find a way out of such a high press, and with a lot of players in the middle who make it tight and difficult. But we’re going to find spaces in the weak positions and play according to our plan,” Stimac joked.
The Blue Tigers will be seen in action for the first time after their successful campaign in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers in June, where they played three games and finished with a record 100 percent win.
“Football is a process and we have to be patient. It’s a hard working process where you have to know what to do to get there,” said the coach.
Stimac also mentioned the team’s performance in the June qualifiers, which is the result of an ongoing process started for the players to prove themselves to the national team.
“After the three-year process, we have stability, calm and certainly better prospects than three years ago. I am convinced that we have a better future,” said Stimac, who was recently extended to next year’s Asian Cup final. .
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