'No reason to fear' - Stimac ahead of Qatar clash

The Indian side will head into the match having suffered a loss at home to Oman just two days ago, where went down 1-2 as the away side scored two late goals.

Indian players arrive in Doha on Saturday.   -  AIFF MEDIA

The Indian football team arrived in Doha on Saturday for its second match of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 joint qualifiers Round 2, where it will face the host on Tuesday.

The Indian side will head into the match having suffered a loss at home to Oman just two days ago, where went down 1-2 as the away side scored two late goals. However, the head coach and players affirmed in unison that they have put the result behind them and are refocused on the job at hand in Qatar.

"As soon as the Oman match ended, we shifted our focus immediately to the next match. Qatar are the strongest team in the group and playing them will not be easy. However, it's a great opportunity to learn from," said head coach Igor Stimac.

READ:  'We always depend on Chhetri for goals'

The Croatian added that the team has "no reason to fear" ahead of the encounter. He stated, "Obviously, we have to change 4-5 players. We'll see how everyone is feeling. There is no reason to fear and we shall look to score goals and play good football." 

Winger Udanta Singh, who almost opened India's account against Oman after his shot early in the first half came back off the underside of the crossbar, said that the team has to keep its "chin up". "The previous match is now history and everyone is now focusing on the match against Qatar. We have to keep our chins up. We started our preparations the very next day and are now looking forward to starting training here. We are expecting a tough encounter as Qatar are the Asian champions, but we have to stick to our plans, stay compact and play as a team. If we can do that, we can certainly pull off a favourable result," he said.

Full-back Subhasish Bose stressed that the motivation levels in the team is high as it gears up for its first away fixture of the qualifiers, saying that head coach Stimac is "pushing the players" to learn and keep improving.

The fixture will kick off at 10pm IST.