Optimistic Igor Stimac to ‘focus and make best use’ of limited resources in AFC Asian Cup 2023

Optimistic Igor Stimac to ‘focus and make best use’ of limited resources in AFC Asian Cup 2023

Indian Football Team head coach Igor Stimac provides insights into the team's preparation, training camps, and the challenges posed by injuries ahead of the AFC Asian Cup 2023.

India is gearing up for its fifth appearance at the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023, set to commence in less than a month. The national team arrived in Doha on December 30, and fans worldwide are eagerly anticipating a stellar performance from the Blue Tigers at Asia’s premier football tournament. India head coach Igor Stimac delved into the team’s preparation despite injuries playing a major setback ahead of the tournament.

Notably, this marks India’s second consecutive qualification for the continental championship, a significant achievement since its debut in 1964. The team’s consistent progress in recent years, under the guidance of head coach Igor Stimac, is evident.

Make the best use of time ahead of AFC Asian Cup 2023

Looking ahead to India’s campaign in the AFC Asian Cup 2023 in Qatar, Stimac expresses optimism that the squad will make a lasting impression in the competition. This tournament serves as a pivotal milestone for the Blue Tigers as they strive to regain a position among Asia’s elite and prepare for qualification in the FIFA World Cup 2026.

“Things have changed dramatically for us after we lost Ashique Kuruniyan after him it was Anwar Ali and then Jeaskson followed. Then lately, the players who were mostly the backup options for us in the middle of the park like Glans, and Rohit, they suffered certain injuries,” said Igor Stimac.

“So we are not as good as we could be at the moment. But we don’t have time to think about those who are not with us and focus on those players who are here with us and try to use the maximum given time to us in a proper way to prepare the team to bring their fitness to a higher level and then we’re going to see where we stand and what kind of approach we’re gonna have against Australia.” Stimac added.

Drawn into Group B of the competition alongside Australia, Uzbekistan, and Syria, India is poised to commence their AFC Asian Cup 2023 campaign. The journey begins against the Socceroos on January 13, followed by a match against Uzbekistan on the 18th, concluding the group stage against Syria on the 23rd. Igor Stimac announced a squad of 26 players ahead of the tournament.,

“I don’t have options for experimenting with the new players or trying to bring new faces in. So the players who are here, they’ve been with us many times, they have a good experience. Never mind that 17 out of these 26 players are the first timers and it’s such a big tournament, but it will be a great experience for them.” said Igor Stimac in that regard.

However, Head Coach Igor Stimac’s squad is grappling with injuries, as Anwar Ali and Ashique Kuruniyan remain sidelined for an extended period. Despite some fitness concerns, Sahal Abdul Samad has traveled with the squad for the continental tournament.

Indian Football Team head coach Igor Stimac is set to make the best use of resources despite injuries ahead of AFC Asian Cup 2023

India’s 26-member squad for the AFC Asian Cup 2023

Goalkeepers: Amrinder Singh, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Vishal Kaith.
Akash Mishra, Lalchungnunga, Mehtab Singh, Nikhil Poojary, Pritam Kotal, Rahul Bheke, Sandesh Jhingan, Subhasish Bose.
Midfielders: Anirudh Thapa, Brandon Fernandes, Deepak Tangri, Lalengmawia Ralte, Liston Colaco, Naorem Mahesh Singh, Sahal Abdul Samad, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Udanta Singh.
Forwards: Ishan Pandita, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Manvir Singh, Rahul Kannoly Praveen, Sunil Chhetri, Vikram Partap Singh.

India’s Group B fixtures at the AFC Asian Cup 2023

  • January 13, 2024: Australia vs India (17:00 IST, Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan)
  • January 18, 2024: India vs Uzbekistan (20:00 IST, Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan)
  • January 23, 2024: Syria vs India (17:00 IST, Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor)

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