The Indian men’s football team will have its task cut out when it takes on Vietnam in the Hung Thinh Friendly Football Tournament in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday.
In its opener last Saturday, India was held to a 1-1 draw by lower-ranked Singapore.
Up against a confident Vietnam, which blanked Singapore 4-0 in its first match, the Blue Tigers will have to be extremely focused.
“It will be a very different game against a much stronger opponent, so our approach will also change accordingly,” said India head coach Igor Stimac on the eve of the match.
“We need to be more focused, especially on vertical football and quick transition.
“At the same time, we must maintain focus on our defence as well. They pose a real threat from long range shots, and from their crosses, and we need to be able to deal with that,” said Stimac.
The India head coach has also closely followed the match between Vietnam and Singapore, and believes that their Tuesday’s opponents are an organised unit.
“I’ve watched their first match against Singapore and they (Vietnam) are a very disciplined side,” said Stimac.
“They have also had enough time after the first game for recovery, while we need to see how many of our boys will be available and fit to play.”
However, the 55-year-old chose to look at the brighter side, which is the availability of most of his players for selection.
Hinting that there may be significant changes to the side, he said, “A few of our players are back and fresh now, so we will make sure we have enough strength and speed on the pitch for Vietnam.”