Indian Football

'We Have a Talented Youth Set-up That Needs to be Given Time,' Claims India Coach Igor Stimac

Arjun Singh Devgan
Igor Stimac is the current head of coach of the India national team
Igor Stimac is the current head of coach of the India national team / Pakawich Damrongkiattisak/Getty Images

India national team coach, Igor Stimac has opened up on the Blue Tigers humiliating 6-0 loss to United Arab Emirates (UAE) in an international friendly earlier this week, by claiming that it was a game where they are trying to check the strength of their new players.

India played two friendlies in late March – against Oman and the UAE, and while the first game saw them play out a 1-1 draw with the former the latter game saw them suffer their heaviest loss in a decade.

“The two results come in very different circumstances. Apart from the fact that in both cases UAE won [2-0 in 2019], we can’t compare those matches in any other segment. In 2019, both the teams played in the group stages of the AFC Asian Cup – the Continental Championship to which both teams had headed after having prepared for a long time. Both the teams came in with their best and most experienced players which was at their disposal," he told with an interview with AIFF, as per ISL's official site.

“In 2021, it was a friendly match which we used to check the strength of our new players against the best striking line-up of UAE that has been playing together for a long time. It is unusual and surprising that many are now trying to create a bad atmosphere around us.

“We have a talented youth set-up that needs to be given time, and peace at work. We believe in them – they are the best we have, and we are obliged to give them the opportunity to mature for greater achievements. Defeats are part of that path. They are painful but it serves to teach and mature them.”

Stimac will hope that his new charges learn from the experiences on hand from the two international friendlies and put on a better performance when they are next in action, with the Blue Tigers scheduled to face Qatar in the second round of the World Cup qualifiers on 3 June.