As the India U-23 boys gear up to take on UAE in their next match in the qualifiers for the AFC U-23 Asian Cup, Head Coach Igor Štimac talks at length about the need for the boys to stay humble, expectations against UAE, the extra pressure, and much more.
What has been your talk to the boys after the victory against Oman?
I have told them to stay humble, and dream big. From my experience I asked them to forget the game against Oman, and concentrate on the following one. We achieved something nobody really expected us to. So I want our boys to enjoy their football, and play their hearts out.
Expectations have risen after the result against Oman. How is the team dealing with it?
We need to be realistic because UAE are technically a far better team than Oman. So let’s not get overdosed after winning one game. Our boys played brilliant football against Oman, and that’s all we are looking for in the next game.
Do you spot any extra pressure?
I won’t allow them to feel any sort of pressure. We came here to gain some experience, and to check where we stand against strong oppositions. Nothing more than that.
What are your views about the UAE as an opposition?
They are a properly developed team. Their movements on the pitch and the passing are extremely impressive. So we need to be extra careful about not losing positions early. They lost their first match and that will keep them highly motivated, which means we need to be prepared for a bigger challenge. We need to be aware that keeping tight lines, and not dropping too deep will be crucial against UAE.