Want my team to carry ‘brave attitude’ on pitch, says Igor Stimac

New Delhi, Mar 22 : Ahead of the kickoff to India’s campaign in the two international friendlies against Bahrain and Belarus, India head coach for senior men team Igor Stimac believes that his boys will carry forward a “brave attitude” in the match against host Bahrain on Wednesday, Stimac has added seven new faces ahead of the friendlies – PrabhsukhanGill, Hormipam Ruivah, Anwar Ali, Roshan Singh, VP Suhair, Danish Farooq, and Aniket Yadav. Keeping the selection on his mind, he said on the eve of the match,” I want to give these boys the opport ty to play against good opponents and I expect them to carry a brave attitude tomorrow once they are on the pitch.“ “I will try to put my best starting eleven with some new faces and want to see how they do against higher-ranked teams and later can assess them for the Qualifiers in June,” he continued. On being asked about the selection of the team, Stimac said, “It’s been quite a difficult season but it was exciting at the same time. I had to make sure that half of the Indian players in the Hero ISL this season were on my list. There were other players who performed well but due to injuries, I did not want to take the risk of calling them here.” S l Chhetri has been ruled out of the two friendlies due to an injury, but Coach Stimac thinks it is the best time for the younger ones to prove themselves. “We have Manvir, Liston and Rahim as strikers in place of S l. But the whole team should replace him. I expect these players to take up more responsibility and create more chances as S l is not here with us,” he stated. The international friendlies are a part of the team’s preparation for the Final Round of the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Qualifiers, which will be held in Kolkata June 8 onwards. India have been clubbed in Group D along with Hong Kong, Afghanistan and Cambodia. 24 teams have been divided into six groups, and the group winners, along with the five best second-placed teams will earn a ticket to the AFC Asian Cup in China. XC-PC RN

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