Dubai [UAE], October 27 (ANI): As the U23 boys gear up to take on UAE in their next match in the qualifiers for the AFC U23 Asian Cup, head coach Igor Stimac has emphasised the need for the boys to stay humble.
"I have told them to stay humble, and dream big. From my experience, I asked them to forget the game against Oman, and concentrate on the following one. We achieved something nobody really expected us to. So I want our boys to enjoy their football, and play their hearts out," said Stimac in an official AIFF release.
India U-23 team defeated Oman 2-1 in their opening fixture of the AFC U-23 Asian Cup 2022 Qualifiers at the Fujairah Stadium in Dubai, UAE on Sunday.
Rahim Ali (6') converted an early penalty, before Vikram Partap Singh (37') doubled the lead to earn a crucial victory on the night. Waleed Salim scored a consolation goal in added time but the three points headed India's way.
"We need to be realistic because UAE is technically a far better team than Oman. So let's not get overdosed after winning one game. Our boys played brilliant football against Oman, and that's all we are looking for in the next game," said Stimac.
"I won't allow them to feel any sort of pressure. We came here to gain some experience, and to check where we stand against strong oppositions. Nothing more than that," he added.
Talking about UAE as an opposition, Stimac said: "They are a properly developed team. Their movements on the pitch and the passing are extremely impressive. So we need to be extra careful about not losing positions early. They lost their first match and that will keep them highly motivated, which means we need to be prepared for a bigger challenge. We need to be aware that keeping tight lines, and not dropping too deep will be crucial against UAE." (ANI)