India’s head coach Igor Stimac said that he wants his side to play without any fear following their 1-0 loss to Oman in Muscat on Tuesday.
India needed a two goal victory over Oman if they were to stay alive in the race for the 2022 World Cup. However, Muhsen Al Ghassani’s goal sealed the deal for the hosts as they walked away victorious in the front of the packed crowd.
Stimac following the loss said that the side should show no fear and always believe that they have a chance to win the game. Also he said that changing gameplan in accordance to the opponent shows the team’s weakness.
“I want my India (team) to play without fear against anyone. Irrespective of whoever you are playing against, you always have a chance to win the game. We need to grab that.
“If you are trying to change (your gameplan) according to your opponents, it shows your team’s weakness – which is the last thing I would want for my team. We stick to our system and we are working on the players’ strengths and conditioning,” Stimac stated in the post-match press conference.
However, Stimac went on to praise the team’s second half performance, stating that they had played well to create opportunities but just lacked the finishing to convert them.
“We were the better side in the second half but couldn’t find the way to score a goal. This is our main problem which has been haunting us always. We are moving well, we are fighting, we are doing what’s necessary but when we come inside the box, the decision making is not at par and the accuracy is not there as well. We need to get used to this, cut the numbers of mistakes down and try to get better results in the future,” he said.
Stimac also then admitted that the two forced changes they were made to do in the first half following Pranoy and Adil’s injury disrupted their rhythm.
“When you are forced to make two substitutions due to injuries in the first half, it upsets the team. You need to compromise with the work which you have done before the game and it reduces your chances to tweak with your plan in the second half. Even I was hesitant to make the third change thinking of another injury which could have happened anytime. It was a big risk and we are facing this for long,” he said.