India have nothing to lose and everything to win against the strong opposition Qatar in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers on Tuesday, said Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac. India, after the 0-1 win against Kuwait on their own turf, a confident Indian team is ready to face the hosts of FIFA World Cup 2022. Meanwhile, Qatar, the Champions of Asia, taking India seriously as an opponent and will be ready to bring out their best against the blue tigers.
Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac and goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu attended the pre-match press conference ahead of the big game on Tuesday. Both Stimac and Gurpreet echoed the thoughts of being fearless against a stronger opposition in Qatar and give everything out there on the field.
"It's a game, where there is nothing to lose for us but a lot to win for. So let's go for it all out. We cannot control the external factors. We can only control our performances at the individual level and as a team. The only thing for us to do is to give our best for 90 minutes when the first whistle sounds," Igor told the media.
Takling about the opponent Qatar, Gurpreet said, "Oviously they are a quality side and have there plans as well. We are playing at home and use this opportunity to go for the maximum."
After an scintilating win against Kuwait, the Indian team will be very confident in themelseves. However, there could be chance of complicany as well after a great win against Kuwait in Kuwait. As per coach Igor, there is no chance of complacency as they have not wasted any energy on celebrating the last win and right after the win, they have transferred their focus on the Qatar game.
"As I said after the Kuwait game to the team and the media, the best thing to go forward is to forget the Kuwait game immediately, as soon as possible. Save your energy from celebrating and being overconfident and getting into euphoria, let's get prepared for the Qatar game," Igor told.
It has been four long years since Gurpreet Singh Sandhu's heroics helped India draw against Qatar last time. Since then the Indian have improved as a team and not only the Indian team, the other countries like Qatar have agreed that. As per coach, not only the squad have changed, the players have become more mature, they have more hunger and more confident individuals on the field. That's why the whole team should forget about "that match" and focus on the game that they have in their hand on Tuesday.
"After four years, I can say that we have finished the process of reconstructing the team. But, it will never stop. We have bigger pull of players competing for national team positions," Igor said.
"We can see that all of our players are very confident when they are with the national team. They are very committed and they look different; different class," Igor answered on being asked what are the changes he sees between the team in 2019 and in 2023 now.
India's number no. 1 in front of the sticks, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu believes that the commitment, hunger and confidence has created a healthy competition within the team and players are now have to keep doing better things to keep a place in the team.
''Credit to the coach and the stuff for creating such environment that the scope of you dropping some level; the consequence of that is you might lose your spot in the team," Gurpreet expressed.
Although coach feels that the Kuwait game was most important game of the group. The importance of winning the away game was huge. Moreover, according to Igor, 61st ranked Qatar is out of their league but football is such a game that provides opportunities and Igor and company will look to cash in that opportunity in Bhubaneshwar on Tuesday.
"We know that Qatar is out of our league. But, we also know that that this is football and football gives us opportunities. And, this is our opportunity. We have nothing to lose tomorrow and we gonna go all out tomorrow," coach said.