Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], June 7 (ANI): As the 'City of Joy' gears up to host the Team India in their first match of the Asian Cup Qualifiers Group D matches at the VYBK in Kolkata, head coach Igor Stimac averred that the 'passion from the stands will add to the extra strength in the legs, and hearts of the players'.
Speaking at the official pre-match press conference, Stimac stated, "We are expecting the fans to come in numbers, to support the national team in the best way possible. Our intent is to press from the start, play at high pressure, and at a high intensity. We need to control the game, and I have to say we are ready for that. We have nothing to hide."
Star defender Sandesh Jhingan felt, "qualifying for the Asian Cup should be a norm for Indian football. The mentality needs to be that India will be at the Asian Cup."
"I joined the team a bit late. But when I came in, I could gauge the improvement in the squad. The improvement among players individually was there to see. We are motivated. We know the potential of this batch, and we need to start delivering," he maintained.
"For me as a coach, it is not important who scores. But it's important that we score. We need to accept that our recent oppositions - Bahrain, Belarus, and Jordan - were technically better than us. But we had our chances, and failed to capitalise on them," said Igor.
"We have young players who are feeling the pressure of being in the national team. We need to push these young players earlier in their career, and need to be patient," he added.
India will be squaring off against Cambodia in the first match of the Asian Cup Qualifiers on Wednesday at the VYBK in Kolkata. (ANI)