Head coach Igor Stimac expressed his excitement and eagerness for the tournament after weeks of preparation. He emphasized the team’s goal to win matches and represent India in a quality manner. The coach’s expectations were high, and he aimed for his team to emerge as the tournament champions, demonstrating their determination to achieve success.
Regarding the tournament’s role in preparing for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, Stimac highlighted his intention to utilize the upcoming games effectively. While acknowledging that the opponents in this tournament would differ from those in the Asian Cup, he recognized their competitive nature. Specifically, he mentioned Mongolia as a team with a youthful and aggressive style of play, characterized by high pressing and counter-attacking football.
Stimac viewed each game in the tournament as a significant challenge for the players, an opportunity for them to showcase their abilities at the international level and prove their worthiness of a place in the national team. By facing strong and competitive opponents, the players could gain valuable experience and strengthen their skills, which would contribute to their preparation for the upcoming Asian Cup.
Igor Stimac believes that India can leverage the advantage of playing on home turf in the Hero Intercontinental Cup, especially after their impressive performance in the Hero Tri-Nation Friendly Tournament in Manipur. He emphasized the significance of having many supportive fans cheering them on, which proved beneficial in their triumph against higher-ranked teams during the Manipur tournament. Stimac expressed gratitude for the support and acknowledged the positive impact it had on the team’s performance.
He further highlighted the various advantages that India possesses in the upcoming tournament. Additionally, he expressed his hope that Mongolia, their opponents, would also develop great facilities in their own country, similar to the ones available in Odisha, where the tournament is taking place.
Stimac’s statements emphasize the positive influence of home support and the belief that it can contribute to India’s success in the tournament.