India football coach Igor Stimac
India football coach Igor Stimac

We need to continue to work hard and be patient, says Igor Stimac

ANI | Updated: Sep 06, 2019 13:45 IST

Guwahati (Assam) [India], Sep 6 (ANI): After India's disappointing 1-2 loss against Oman in the FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, coach Igor Stimac said that the team needs to continue doing hard work and be patient to showcase better results.
India had taken a 1-0 lead in the first half as skipper Sunil Chhetri registered a goal in the 24th minute, but the team failed to capitalise as Oman scored two goals in the last ten minutes of the match to record a 2-1 win.
Al-Mandhar Al Alawi scored a brace for Oman to hand them a win in the match.
"We could have scored many goals in the first half and killed the game then, and there. My players are fitter than the Oman players, but they are more experienced. A time will come when we are not going to lose games like this, and put the game to bed early. But for that, we need to continue working hard, and be patient," All India Football Federation quoted Stimac as saying.
"The boys made me proud and I am sure all Indian fans as well. The way they played and fought for their country, and ran and chased down the opposition players was something we need to be proud of," he added.
Despite the loss, Stimac maintained a positive spirit and said that the team is stepping into the direct direction. He credited the team for being quick learners.
"The players are quick-learners and that is what makes me believe that we can do great things. We need to understand that we need to progress step-by-step. This is the new face of India and we have a lot of positive things to talk about, so let's keep talking about them," Stimac said.
"Everyone could see a new Indian team on the pitch - a team that was different from before, and one that has a bright future. We have many more options now in terms of players to choose from and we need to keep working on ourselves and move forward," he added.
Ahead of the team's next match against Qatar, the coach was hopeful of a comeback to bring their campaign back on the track.
"We have been working on many things, such as ball possession, and handling the ball well in tight areas. One can see that we are very stable now in the midfield, where there is a lot of pressure. You can see Borges and Thapa play differently from before. They are fighting and winning the second balls, and their composure in passing in all directions is brilliant," Stimac said.
India will next face Qatar in the FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers in Doha on September 10. (ANI)