The Croatian believes that there’s still more room for improvement…
Indian national team football coach Igor Stimac feels that he has accomplished the job for what he was hired by the AIFF (All Indian Football Federation). However, he still feels his troops could have done much better in the recently concluded Second Round of the joint qualifiers of the FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023.
“Mission accomplished. In a few words, it was difficult. We lost 500 days with the pandemic around us. But we accomplished the aim. Is that good enough? We are not happy. We expected more points from the group. But we need to be happy where we got and improve on the platform. Hopefully, we have more friendlies and we can fulfill the expectations of the fans and the media,” the coach stated during a media interaction facilitated by AIFF.
What did Igor Stimac say on his future?
India finished third in Group E, with seven points from six games in the joint qualifiers, and have progressed to the third round of qualifiers for the AFC Asian Cup 2023. Stimac feels that he has built a good platform that can be utilised in the future, but the AIFF’s technical committee thinks otherwise, he will respect that decision.
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“I am honoured to be working with AIFF. I appreciate the support given. We have a good platform for the future. It is now on the AIFF technical committee, AIFF, and President to decide my future. If they are not happy with my performance I am ready to accept that,” he mentioned.
Is Stimac satisfied with the job done?
The 53-year old explained that he was brought on the job to change India’s style of play and he thinks that he has done considerably well in that aspect.
“When you start a project it is difficult. It was the same with Mr. Constantine. I was brought here to change the style of football from defensive to having more control of the game, improving on passing accuracy. From that aspect, we have succeeded in a certain way. I have my numbers which show that we have improved in ball passing accuracy and ball retention. When you are changing the style with not too many technical players you will find yourself in a difficult position.
“We all need to understand that there are certain limits. It takes a lot of work. There will be suffering on the path that we have chosen to tread upon.”
What does Stimac plan to do going forward?
The coach has been handed a contract till September 2021 and he has already chalked out a blueprint for the national team which he is going to present before the AIFF’s Technical Committee.
“First, we need to analyse with the technical committee what happened in the two years. I can show you the achievements, weaknesses, and improvements in what was a difficult campaign. No one would have predicted that we will be working in such circumstances. But it was the same for all.
“My plan is ready for the technical committee meeting. There are FIFA windows and we have to make the most of it. We plan to start the national camp in August for two international matches in September. Then depending on the start of ISL, we will continue to work with the national team with two more friendlies in October and November. Then the ISL can start and when in February the third round qualifiers will start the players will be ready.”