National coach Igor Stimac expressed satisfaction with India’s performance against Kuwait, highlighting the significance of persevering with players like Manvir Singh. The team secured a historic away win in the World Cup qualifiers, marking a promising start to the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualification campaign.
Stimac emphasized the importance of patience, urging fans and critics alike to support players like Manvir Singh and Rahim Ali, even after occasional off performances. With limited options and a growing need for succession planning beyond Sunil Chhetri, Stimac stressed the necessity of backing emerging talents.
The victory against Kuwait served as a motivational boost for India as they aim to secure a spot in the top two positions for the next round of qualifiers. Looking ahead to the challenge posed by Qatar, Stimac acknowledged the opponent’s strengths but encouraged his team to play without pressure and showcase their true quality.
Injuries to key players such as Anwar Ali, Ashique Kuruniyan, and Jeakson Singh raised concerns, but Stimac expressed confidence in the squad’s depth, citing successful replacements. The coach emphasized the evolving nature of football and the team’s need to adapt to changes in the game, lifestyle, and other essential aspects.
Reflecting on the upcoming match against Qatar, currently ranked 61st in FIFA rankings, Stimac emphasized the need for the players to enjoy the game and exhibit their quality without succumbing to pressure. Drawing from a previous draw against Qatar in 2019, Stimac outlined the team’s improved capabilities in passing, ball possession, and transitions, while cautioning against a reckless approach that could prove detrimental.
Stimac underscored the team’s self-confidence and mindset, stating that each win further boosts their belief in their abilities. He acknowledged challenges posed by poor refereeing decisions in friendlies but expressed confidence in the team’s capability to play good football when it matters in official tournaments.
As India progresses in the World Cup qualifiers, Stimac’s insights provide fans with a glimpse into the team’s strategy, resilience, and determination to make a mark on the international stage. The journey continues, and with each match, India aims to solidify its position as a competitive force in world football.