We are under an important period of transition under Igor Stimac, says Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

Under Igor Stimac, India has registered one win, which came away to Thailand in the King's Cup, and is currently playing in the Intercontinental Cup, where it lost its opening match to Tajikistan.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu aims to lead by example for all the youngsters in the team.   -  Special Arrangement

The systemic change that the Indian men's football team is experiencing under Igor Stimac is positive as it is forging integration with the way club football in the country is shaping up, feels the first-choice goalkeeper of the country Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. 

“This kind of football, which is about keeping possession and planning the attack from the back, is not new to me as we have been doing this with Bengaluru FC in the past two seasons. The only difference is that we have a set of new players (in the national side) who need to adjust to it,” Gurpreet, who has played top-level club football both in the country and Europe, said.

“This is a delicate but a very important period of transition. It is necessary for us to adapt to the tactical awareness provided to us and bring that on the pitch,” he said of the transformation happening under Stimac.

Gurpreet, who is the only Indian footballer to play the UEFA Europa League during his contract with the Norwegian club Stabaek, said Indian football’s transition on the right path. “We have grown a lot in the past five years with the players from the age group stage emerging more technically sound. Even the senior players have a grown in their mentality after being exposed to good coaches especially by the ISL clubs. I think we are on the right path,” he said.

He added that Indian football would grow substantially when the youngsters start playing in the foreign top leagues: “It is very important for our young players to have a taste of the higher level, by that I mean European or even the bigger leagues of Asia. It is important for a player to get out of the comfort zone because until one does not come out of it he cannot know of the things which can make him a better player. That is what most of the countries in Asia, South America and Europe are doing,” he said.