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India U-16 coach Bibiano Fernandes: Our man test will be in September!

The India U-16 National Team head coach Bibiano Fernandes mentioned the boys showed “great courage” in their 2-1 victory over Cameroon in a Friendly match. In a freewheeling chat, Bibiano spoke at length about the boys ticking the right boxes, the attitude in display and the game plan against Cameroon.

This was the first occasion when our U-16 boys won against a non-Asian team – that too against Cameroon. How satisfying was it?

I was happy to see that the boys showed great courage and desire to win against physically bigger players. I am extremely happy to see the boys ticking the right boxes before the AFC U-16 Championship.

What measures have you taken to keep the emotions on a check?

Sometimes even we can’t keep our emotions held, let alone the kids. That’s why it’s a big task for everyone and we have to always remind ourselves that our main test will be in September at the AFC U-16 Championship. These wins and losses are different lessons to learn and improve only. These are nothing but small steps towards our target.

Did you adapt to a different approach to contest against physically superior sides, say Cameroon?

We knew they would be physically very tough. So we focused on moving the ball quicker and confronting them head-on in the 50-50 challenges. The composure they have shown on the pitch was something very encouraging.

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