Buriram (Thailand): India will look to end their campaign in the King’s Cup football tournament on a positive note when they take on hosts Thailand in the third-place play-off match here Saturday.
While revenge will be on Thailand’s mind after the 4-1 in the AFC Asian Cup in January.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference, India coach Igor Stimac made clear his intentions of continuing from where his team left off against Curacao. Despite a brave effort in the second half, India lost 3-1 to Curacao.
“We want to try a different approach and structure to the one that was played in earlier times. Despite us losing our previous match, fans were happy with the style of play against a strong team like Curacao. Our intention shall remain the same against Thailand,” he said.
The coach informed that he plans to give chances to the players who did not feature against Curacao.
“I want to see everyone on the pitch, and each of them deserves a chance to prove themselves. Tomorrow, I shall give chances to other players as well so that we have harder selection decisions to make in the future,” Stimac said.
“We are still in the early stages and there is no fear of getting results at this time. It’s important for us to be free of injury concerns so that we can continue our preparation ahead of the Intercontinental Cup in India.” Centre-back Sandesh Jhingan, who played a pivotal role in India’s last win against Thailand, said that while the 4-1 victory was great, the upcoming encounter will be a different ball game altogether.
“It was a great result for us in the AFC Asian Cup but now things have changed on both sides. This game is a different one. We shall step on to the pitch tomorrow with the right character, and determination, and play according to our plan. Hopefully we get the right result,” the defender quipped.
Stimac touched upon the positives the team drew from the Curacao match, including the fact that six players made their debut. “We had six players make their debuts for India on Wednesday which is fantastic for Indian football. The introduction of youngsters is important, and they are our real strength,” he stated.
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