India haven't played an international game since they faced Oman during the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in November 2019. They’ll have their opportunity when they play a couple of international friendlies against Oman and UAE later this month. With an aim to build a team for the future, India have included a lot of fresh faces into their squad after their impressive performances in the 2020-21 Indian Super League. While there will be some nervous minds in the Indian camp, Indian manager, Igor Stimac asserted that the youngsters will be given enough opportunity to prove themselves and will not be sacked for committing one or two mistakes.
“The young guns proved it in Indian Super League this season. It's now for them to prove at the international level. I will give them the chance to do so. "What we are doing here is trying to make them relax, and explain to them that there is no reason for fear at the international level. They need to be themselves and prove to the world that they can play against the best,” said Igor Stimac, from Dubai.
"There is no reason for anyone to feel scared or have any kind of fear. Not a single player will be eliminated for one or two mistakes but we are trying to work on not to repeat them,” added the manager.
The Indian squad have many players around the age of 20 and Stimac is hopeful of making them ready to face the best in the coming years.
"It's fantastic to see guys at 19, 20, 21, 23 making it to the national squad. We are trying to build on the FIFA U-17 World Cup, and develop their knowledge. We are trying to make sure that in the next four years they become ready to play against the best, and win against them. It's a long process in football, and it takes time,” explained the manager.