THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Igor Štimac: So much competition for slots makes me helpless as a coach

Indian national team players warming-up ahead of their match. (Photo courtesy: AIFF Media)
Indian national team players warming-up ahead of their match. Photo courtesy: AIFF Media

Indian Head Coach Igor Štimac admitted that he is “helpless as a coach” as there is competition for every slot in the team.

“I have competition in my team for every place, and that’s what makes me helpless as a coach,” he said in a jocular tone at the official post-match press conference after India beat Thailand by a solitary goal to finish third in the King’s Cup in Buriram.

“Today’s result was a result of excellent defending. That was fantastic. Nothing to say about that. Just congratulations,” he stated. “I was a defender playing at the top level. I can show a few things to the boys, and that’s what we have been doing in the last two weeks — explaining things to the players, and working on the pitch,” he added.

“In the second half, Thailand were very organised. They were trying to attack from the wings, and put quality crosses. But as I said before, my defenders were fantastic today. It was just not possible for Thailand to score today with my defenders working like this,” he certified.

“I changed a few things after we scored the goal,” Štimac reflected. “I have many inexperienced players who can lose their head during the game. I wanted them to let them play freely at the back to pass, move and concentrate to close in the middle.”

“If we want to keep the ball and pass it around, we could do that against better sides likes Curacao. We kept the possession, pushed them back inside their box and created chances in the second half,” the Coach maintained.

Stimac also stated that the “game could have gone either way.”

“After we scored the goal, we allowed Thailand to take possession. We didn’t insist on possession. We tried to hold, and hurt them on counter attacks,” he reflected. “Off one such counter, we could have finished the game in the first-half itself. But two of my players were a little bit indecisive in front of the goalkeeper,” he explained.

“I would like to thank all my players, staffs for helping to fulfil what we wanted to do in the last two weeks. Congratulations to everyone in AIFF too. I’m particularly happy because the people in India supported us after we lost the first game. I’m proud of the players. There are so many young players in the team.”

(AIFF Media)