Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac wants his side to be on the offensive for the full 90 minutes in order to break down the Bangladesh defence during their upcoming World Cup Qualifiers match in Kolkata.
Stimac’s comments assumes significance as India is expected to shift to attacking mode in search of a win against Bangladesh on October 15 in Kolkata after a defensive approach in the drawn game against Asian champions Qatar in their last match.
“We respect Bangladesh as a team. We’re aware of the difficulties that we’re going to face, and we’re working on them,” Stimac said.
“We need to attack for 90 minutes to break two defensive blocks of Bangladesh. They are a good side who try to cover, and close the midfield.”
The Indian team is here for a 10-day preparatory camp ahead of the match against Bangladesh. India lost to Oman 1-2 in their first match here on September 5 before holding formidable Qatar to a goal-less draw in Doha five days later.
India will need to win against Bangladesh if they want to keep their hopes of advancing to the next round alive.
Bangladesh, currently ranked 187 in the FIFA charts, lost to Afghanistan in their campaign opener and they are scheduled to host Qatar in their next World Cup Qualifier on October 10.
Anticipating a big crowd turning up for the upcoming match, Stimac said, “I can say how happy we are to go to Kolkata. It’s the ‘Mecca of Indian Football’. I can see the excitement among the players about playing in Kolkata. I have been told ticket sales are going at a great rate, and there might be 60-65 thousand people on the 15th.”
The Indian team is palying in Kolkata after a long gap of eight years. The last time India played an international match in Kolkata was in 2011 against Malaysia.
“We have started working (from October 4). We’ll have eleven training sessions, and a friendly match against Northeast United FC on Wednesday (October 9). We’re happy to be back here where we got fantastic support (against Oman). We wanted to come back here to appreciate the local fans,” the Croatian World Cupper said.
The team will reach Kolkata on October 13.