World Cup Qualifiers: "Entire Squad Extremely Excited," Says Igor Stimac Ahead Of Bangladesh Tie
India will take on Bangladesh in their World Cup qualifiying match in Kolkata on October 15
India football team head coach Igor Stimac said on Sunday that the team needs to work on set-pieces as they arrived here amid fanfare for their home World Cup qualifying tie against Bangladesh on October 15. "We'll need to work on set-pieces, combinations and choose the best eleven for the game. The entire squad is extremely excited. Thank you Kolkata for your response," Stimac said. "It has been fantastic. The welcome in Kolkata has been just outstanding. Now it's for us to repay everyone. Let's win it together in Kolkata, with Kolkata," pacy winger Udanta Singh said moments after arriving in Kolkata.
However, local lad Pritam Kotal wasn't much willing to soak in the "Bengal sentiment".
"It's the India National Team who sing the National anthem together. It hardly matters who hails from Bengal or who was born in Punjab. We are going to fight it together on the field against Bangladesh to get our first win of the World Cup qualifiers. Hence, it is not just about Bengalis," he said.
India headed to Kolkata on back of a 10-day preparatory tour in Guwahati which Ashique Kuruniyan described as "fruitful".
"It was a productive camp for us. We had some intense sessions and a friendly match which helped us assess our strengths. Now, it's on us to tighten the screws and execute the plans on the 15th," Kuruniyan maintained.
Abdul Sahal, the new kid on the block, said it is a kind of a dream come true to be arriving in Kolkata as part of the Indian National team squad. "Kolkata and Kerala enjoy a long-standing relationship. There have been a lot many great players from Kerala who have plied their trade in Kolkata, and they always speak so highly of the City of Joy. I have heard the roar at the VYBK is divine. We are looking forward to stepping on to the pitch," he said.