Leeds: Ahead of India's FIFA World Cup qualifying clash against Bangladesh, head coach Igor Stimac said that underestimating their opponent is not a good thing.
"I am very excited and happy to be here in the city of joy, the mecca of Indian football. Everyone is so excited to be here. There will be a lot of passion for the game. We know that we have somehow woken up everyone with our recent performances. We have shown that on our day we can play against anyone. In the first two games, we were not favourites. By now the whole pressure is on us. We have to win this game so that we have a chance to keep dreaming," Goal.com quoted Stimac as saying.
"I wouldn't like any of you to underestimate Bangladesh. That's not a good thing to do. Whenever we underestimate someone the result is not good. Bangladesh did a very good job against Qatar. They created more chances. They have their expectations and dreams. They have not come here to lose the match they have come here to win. Let's go into this game by being respectful to the Bangladeshi team," he added.
India are yet to register their first win in the qualifiers as they witnessed a 1-2 defeat and a 0-0 draw in their first two matches against Oman and Qatar respectively. It was a massive achievement for the Blue Tigers to hold Asian Cup champions Qatar to a goalless draw.
Stimac said the mixture of young and experienced players is the reason for what they have achieved so far.
"I am very satisfied with what we have done in such a short time. It's not easy when you have such a big gap without competitive football. We had 20-25 days to prepare for these games and you can't expect radical changes. I was lucky that we found some great young players. They are great characters and are led by great leaders. Such a mixture of youth and experience has given us a chance to be what we are," he said.
India will compete against Bangladesh in Kolkata on Tuesday.
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Updated Date: Oct 14, 2019 15:59:08 IST