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.