India U16 coach Nicolai Adam: 'Boys are ready'

India U16 football team needs a win against Iran to earn a place in the AFC U16 Championship quarterfinals.

India football team celebrates

The Indian U16 players will need to produce their best performance till date to beat Iran and qualify for the quarterfinals.   -  AIFF Media

With the Indian team having to win against Iran to stay in contention at the on-going AFC U-16 Championship, coach Nicolai Adam has insisted that his team will be ready for what he believes will be a 'super difficult' match.

India needs a win, ideally with a good goal difference, to keep alive its chances of making to the quarterfinals but coach Nicolai Adam isn’t much willing to go delve into calculations

“I think none of the boys are at all calculating. Personally I don’t even like to calculate. It’s not at all interesting for me,” he said.

“Right now the focus is to recollect our energy and when we go to the pitch at 7 pm tomorrow, we would be focussing on getting three points. After that, we will see,” he adds.

The easiest equation that one can hope for is an Indian victory against Iran and hope that UAE get at least a point from Saudi Arabia (to be played simultaneously at Bambolim Stadium).

Nicolai Adam, who will also coach the U-17 team for 2017 World Cup to be held in India, insists that Iran is beatable.

“It will be super difficult. They have a lot of quality in their side,” he asserted.

"They have a lot of quality. Jersey nos 17 (Mohammad Ghaderi) and No. 21 (Allahyar Sayyad) have impressed me so much. We had met Iran last year in Tabriz in the AFC U-16 Qualifiers and the team had beaten us 3-0,” he added.

“Going into the match we are definitely not the favourites just like we were never the favourites in the Group. But yeah, like any other Team we play to win every match and no Team is unbeatable.

“But one thing is certain — Iran will have the same respect for us as we have for them and they won’t take us lightly. We had set the target for the semis as you always have to aim for the Sun to reach a mountain top. Everything is possible,” said Nicolai.

“You need to remember that we are preparing for the U-17 World Cup and honestly we can’t be in a better situation than this. The fact that we are in with a chance going into our last Group League match is an achievement in itself,” he opined. “This is competitive youth Football at its best.”

Though the Indian boys have won all hearts, the slump in momentum in the second half in consecutive matches has stayed the talking point among all. Nicolai nevertheless stresses “not everything can be explained in football.”

“I mean it,” Nicolai says. “We released uncontrolled steam in our first match and that may have had an effect in our second match. But how do you explain that the boys were running all over after conceding two in two minutes after 83 minutes and even equalised against Saudi Arabia? Where did it come from,” he queries. “You cannot explain everything in Football.”

“Fitness has never been my concern. Actually Football is played between the left and right ear – it’s a mental game and all about mental strength.”

The Coach also urged the “football loving” fans of Goa to cheer from the stands.

“Talk to your employer and get a permission of maybe coming in an hour late to Office on Thursday. The boys deserve the numbers in the stands. I promise we won’t be easy to beat. We will give our best,” said the coach.