Captain Sunil Chhetri speals highly Indian Football Team’s youth ahead of the India versus Kuwait FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
The Indian Football Team is preparing for an exciting journey in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. The Blue Tigers will kick off their campaign against Kuwait on November 16. However, a far stiffer test awaits them on November 21 when they face Qatar at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. Ahead of the India vs Kuwait game, Sunil Chhetri seemed to be confident with the squad as he relayed on the importance of each of them.
Stimac has already selected a 28-man probable squad for the next games, with the players currently in Dubai for training. Even if the team is still well-balanced, both Anwar Ali and Jeakson Singh are absent. With youngsters out with long-term injuries, Stimac would have a difficult time finding a suitable substitute.
After going 11 games without losing this year, India has suddenly entered a losing streak. They lost their King’s Cup matches against Lebanon and Iraq. In the end, Malaysia defeated them 4-2 in the Merdeka Cup. Given that the Blue Tigers will face difficult opponents in the coming month, it will be interesting to see if Stimac changes his tactics. However, skipper Sunil Chhetri had tremendous trust in the squad, particularly the youngsters who were out front with him.
” If you see the stats of (Lallianzuala) Chhangte, Mahesh (Naorem Singh) and Sahal (Abdul Samad)…. I’m taking these names because they’ve done really well in goal assists. We don’t play with two strikers under Igor’s (Stimac) system. But these three boys have done really well in creating chances, assisting and scoring a few important goals” said Sunil Chhetri speaking to AIFF.
“Chhangte is consistent, honest, and full of hard work. He’s our benchmark here in the national team. He, along with players like Sandesh (Jhingan), are the torchbearers of consistency and genuine hard work. These are our pillars.”
“Mahesh is gifted. Of course, he works hard, but he sees the game in a different manner. He is one of those players who are gifted in terms of touch, passing and understanding of the game. I want to include Sahal too. he stands out as the best player including all foreigners and all others. Even during training, he looks very confident and a different person. I hope he keeps his head on his shoulders and keeps performing.” Sunil Chhetri added.
On paper, while Igor Stimac approves of the 4-2-3-1 style, Anwar Ali and Jeakson Singh’s injuries present a void in the starting eleven that Igor Stimac must fill. However, captain Chhetri thinks India needs to put the injuries behind them and work with the resources they have.
” I’ll miss them. But it’s done. It’s gone. I’ve made peace with it that they’re not going to be here. Otherwise, It will take a lot of focus away from the boys who are going to replace them. We always say that we are a team rather than a bunch of individuals. Whoever is here will have to play and make sure that we give a good account of ourselves.” Sunil Chhetri concluded.