It's a new beginning for Indian football under National Coach Wim Koevermans. As he takes his wards into the Nehru Cup, Koevermans spoke about the technical ability of his boys, the practice sessions, the participating teams and much more. Excerpts:
How has your training shaped up?
I'm pleased with my preparation for the Nehru Cup. The two-week camp in Bangalore set the tone. It was heartening to see the boys respond well. All of us have worked hard at the camp. The atmosphere has been good.
Which attribute of the boys has impressed you the most?
The attitude of the boys has impressed me the most. We have played two friendly matches and both have been good.
What's been your assessment of the technical ability of your boys?
I'm very confident in the ability of my players. They have started to realise they can play like that. The practice sessions stay evidence of what I say. Overall, I've found the boys to be technically sound. They are in fact, much better than what they think they are.
What do you mean when you say 'play like that?'
Keeping possession of the ball stays the priority. At the same time, we need to create chances and convert them as they come our way. We have also laid equal emphasis on defending. The moment you lose the ball, you need to be aggressive and earn it back -- and the faster, the better. We have been practicing it for some days now.
Did the boys find it tough to adjust during the initial days of the camp?
Not really! Everyone loves to play football and none wants to sit out. We have been sticking to a style but there will be moments in the game when you will need to adjust. It depends on the opposition.
How do you look at the Nehru Cup?
I'm very confident and looking forward to see and assess the performance of the boys against tough opposition. We have had a look at some videos of Syria but as far as the other teams are concerned, we will have a look at them as and when they take the field. The participating teams are very strong ones.
Photo Courtesy: AIFF