Siliguri (West Bengal) [India], Jan. 1 (ANI
): A day prior to India's semi-final against Nepal in the Women's SAFF Championship, Indian women's team head coach Sajid Dar
isn't much willing to read into India's last match against Nepal in the SAG Final which had ended 4-0 in favour of India.
"Nepal are much more prepared for this tournament," Sajid feels.
In a freewheeling interview to www.the-aiff.com, Sajid spoke at length about Nepal's strengths, the poor finishing against Bangladesh, confidence within the squad, lack of recovery time, and much more.
"There's no denying that they are one step ahead than all the rest of the teams in the SAFF Championship. They have prepared thoroughly for the Championship. They are a very strong side and have always been tough competitors," he said.
When asked but Nepal 'thorough' preparation for the championship, the Indian coach said, "I have heard that it's been almost two months that they assembled together to prepare for the tournament. When you stay and train together for almost two months, it reflects your strength. They have also played some friendly matches against Malaysia and are look very match fit. We rate them very highly."
The last time India played against Nepal, they won the gold medal in a one-sided final at the South Asian Games final in February 2016.
"That particular match is past tense, its history. The sport will never guarantee you the same result every time. This is a new tournament and everything is different. But yeah, that particular match gives us the confidence and reminds us of our capabilities," he said speaking about that match.
"In comparison to that championship, I feel Nepal are much more prepared for this tournament. Having a look at their group league matches, one can understand they have a different plan this time. We have to stay on our toes," he added.
Dar also insisted that his team are ready to give their best on the field.
"The girls have just one day of rest in between to get ready for Nepal. In sharp contrast, Nepal, with an extra day of rest will be in much better shape than us. But we are ready to give our best on the field. We are confident and will plan accordingly. The match is like a final to us," he said. (ANI