The Croat tactician remained positive over the course of the press conference on Friday.
Indian Football is entering a new phase with head coach Igor Stimac and Technical Director Isac Doru at the helm. It was the first time on Friday when the duo addressed the media after being appointed to the crucial roles in the domestic game ahead of the King’s Cup in Thailand.
Both Doru and Stimac come from experienced managerial and technical backgrounds and did not mince their words while speaking about the issues circling football in India. Some of Stimac’s views about the Blue Tigers and the overall development of the sport in the country reassured the fans that the national team is in safe hands.
Some of the top highlights from the first-ever media interaction of the duo include aspects of the national team and also the league structure in the country.
Watch: Igor Stimac’s first ever press conference in India
5. Stimac promises to give chances to young blood
The former Croatia national team coach landed the job due to his astute research on Indian football. He again showcased he same and told the media that he has followed both the leagues and is well-informed about the talented Indian Arrows side.
He clarified his stance by saying that some of the players who have that spark in them to make it to the national team, but were not given their due opportunities will now get chances to make amends in his reign. However, he also warned the regular customers in the team to work hard for their place in the squad. Stimac appeared impressed by the youngsters in India and in all certainty, he will hand opportunities to a lot of deserving candidates to don the Blue jersey.
4. Stimac believes in peaceful co-existence of both ISL and I-League
The Croatian was loud and clear about his opinion on the league structure in the country. However, he believes that the Indian FA (the AIFF) and the clubs can communicate and come to a solution. He touted communication to be key in every aspect.
Further, he underscored the fact that the Indian Super League is a private league and the investors want money out of it, which is fine for him, as long as the football played in the league in competitive. He asserted his belief that the I-League is a tradition of Indian football, which the ISL cannot buy. He also stated that the I-League is the breeding ground for young players in the country. The 51-year is seeking the best talent from both leagues.
Watch: Indian football team trains under Igor Stimac
3. Emphasis on proper analysis and implementation of synchronised football
Speaking about his playing style which was criticised by some Indian football fans, the tactician clearly said that his team will play a brand of synchronised football.
Doru also weighed up the plans and suggested the same brand of football. He believes that the Indian national team needs the perfect balance of defence and attack. Stimac did not mince his words about building a strong defence first and also paid critical attention to winning second balls in crunch matches. The 51-year old wants his players to improve on their concentration and agility to take their game to the next level.
The former Zadar manager also wants to be flexible in his approach and wants to learn more about his players, so that he can alternate strategies in difficult circumstances during the match.
2. Realistic aspirations for Indian football
The former Hajduk Split boss understands the aspirations of Indian football fans of featuring at the grand stage of the FIFA World Cup. However, he clarified that it still remains a distant dream, as the country needs to work together and develop on certain areas before dreaming too big.
The head coach is realistic and pragmatic in his approach and is looking forward to improving the grassroots development. The tactician also promised to meet coaches across both leagues and share their thoughts on players and their style of play to understand and learn more about them.
1. Keeping players like Sunil Chhetri and other experienced stars on the same pedestal as their younger counterparts
Stimac has already given indications towards implementing a fair selection policy and about his trust in the young talent in the country. However, he also lauded players like Sunil Chhetri alongside Sandesh Jhingan and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu as role models to youngsters in Indian football. However, Stimac also suggested that these players have to fight for their spot in the team.