Igor Stimac believes India have had a pretty good 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign and that Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola would not be able to achieve the same results with this team that he has done.
The Blue Tigers ended their 2022 World Cup qualification campaign with four draws, three losses, and one win from their eight matches, scoring six goals and conceding just seven in the process.
And the national team boss believes his side have been unfairly criticised. "Somehow we managed to finish in the second round of the (World Cup) qualifiers in third position which was our target," he said.
He added, "Now we need to prove ourselves in the third round with more quality in the passing football, especially in the final third. How to herd the opponent in the final third comes from the way you play in the domestic league. The fans always want more. We agreed upon changing the course by playing higher ranked teams in friendly games, giving opportunities for our players to face real difficulties because ISL is not bringing pressure. "
Stimac justified, "Don't get me wrong but there is no relegation. It's far different from playing top level international football in the qualifiers against sides like Qatar, Oman, UAE, Syria and others who are much higher ranked. What is the actual form of these teams is also important."
He then went on to defend himself and claimed that two of football's biggest coaches, Mourinho and Klopp, couldn't do a better job than himself in India. He added: "I could be fired but not even (Pep) Guardiola or (Jose) Mourinho could do more in these circumstances."
Despite failing to make progress in the World Cup qualifiers, India have secured a direct spot in the 2023 AFC Asian Cup third round qualifiers.