India National Team coach Igor Stimac revealed that the team “are very happy” to have got a chance to play a friendly match against NorthEast United FC tomorrow, October 9. The match, he feels, will help the Blue Tigers bode well before the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh which is slated at the Saltlake Stadium in Kolkata on Wednesday, October 15.
“We’re very happy to have got a chance to play against Northeast United FC. This game will serve us very well to prepare for the Bangladesh match,” Stimac said. “I feel it will be a competitive game. It’s a chance for my players to prove themselves and to earn a place in the team. It’ll be nice to try as many players as possible. I expect them to do best to their abilities,” Stimac stated.
The Blue Tigers are currently in a preparatory camp for in Guwahati for the forthcoming match against Bangladesh.
NorthEast United FC coach Robert Jarni was a former teammate of Igor Stimac who was part of the Croatian team who went on to finish third in 1998 IFA World Cup – France.
“It’ll be a great pleasure for both us. He was a fantastic player and a great coach as well. I wish him all the best for a successful career with Northeast United FC,” Stimac commented.
“Back home, we face each other every day as we stay only 200 meters away. I see him while going to the market, the bank every time. But, I have never faced him as the opponent coach, it’ll be an interesting battle for us surely,” Stimac smiled.
The Croatian coach had summoned 29 players for the preparatory camp initially, but Jerry Lalrinzuala wasn’t able to join the camp owing to some fitness issues.