After a comprehensive 4-1 victory against Thailand in the first league match, India defender Pritam Kotal feels that the Blue Tigers are well-prepared to take on hosts UAE in their next match on Thursday (January 10), at the Sheikh Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi.
Kotal, who played a stellar role as right wing back for India keeping Thailand’s Chanathip Songskrasin quiet in the previous game, said that the team has made specific plans for the hosts.
“We have our plans for the UAE game. You will be able to see them while we implement it on the pitch,” said the defender. “They are a very good side. We have a lot of respect for them. But we are ready to give it a real fight.”
When asked whether Blue Tigers view UAE as their toughest opponents in the group stage, Kotal expressed “every match is a difficult one.”
“You can’t really say which match is tough. Before the Thailand game, would anybody have said that it was going to be easy? Every match is tough. We expect UAE to be a tough game too. They are the hosts. We have to fight in every game and aim to take three points,” he stated.
The Indian defence played a key role in keeping the Thai attackers at bay in their last game, and Kotal believes that the back-four has a good chemistry between themselves.
“Our back four has been playing together for some time now. That has built up our understanding, and the chemistry,” he continued. “We always talk to each other, tell each other where to position ourselves, whom to mark. This has obviously improved since we have been playing together for some time.”