'Without Character Nothing Can Be Achieved,' India's Coach Igor Stimac Ahead Of AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 India Head Coach Igor Stimac.

Ahead of India’s AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 campaign, the Blue Tigers’ head coach, Igor Stimac, on Saturday said that he is looking for players with strong character. While speaking in an interview with the All India Football Federation (AIFF), Stimac said that they were looking for “experience and physical strength” while deciding the 26-member squad for the upcoming tournament.

“All these boys from the list are very similar in terms of football quality so what we are looking for in the final list of 26 is definitely experience and physical strength and the final line would be drawn by the strength of their character. This is something that is really important for us as a team and as a family because no matter the talent, if there is no character, nothing can be achieved,” Stimac was quoted by ISL’s official website as saying.

He added that they are looking to work on their “defensive, offensive transition and set pieces” for their forthcoming fixtures.

“The things we are looking to work on are defensive compactness, offensive transition and the set pieces, mostly,” he said.

What an absolute stunner of a free kick from @yandhanda in the #SPL yesterday. Imagine having him part of the @IndianFootball team in the #AFCAsianCup@kalyanchaubey @stimac_igor  pic.twitter.com/S5jlGoY0IN
 Baljit Singh Rihal (@BaljitRihal) December 31, 2023

Talking about their opponents in the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023, he praised all of Australia, Uzbekistan and Syria and said that they are “very good sides.”

“All three opponents are very good sides. Technically good, physically strong, and have great speed, so we are not going to have much difference in approach in all these three games,” Stimac said.

India will play their opening Group B match against Australia on January 13 at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan before facing Uzbekistan on January 18 at the same venue. Stimac’s side will then move to the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor to take on Syria on January 23.

India’s 26-member squad for the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023: Goalkeepers: Amrinder Singh, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Vishal Kaith. Defenders: Akash Mishra, Lalchungnunga, Mehtab Singh, Nikhil Poojary, Pritam Kotal, Rahul Bheke, Sandesh Jhingan, Subhasish Bose. Midfielders: Anirudh Thapa, Brandon Fernandes, Deepak Tangri, Lalengmawia Ralte, Liston Colaco, Naorem Mahesh Singh, Sahal Abdul Samad, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Udanta Singh. Forwards: Ishan Pandita, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Manvir Singh, Rahul Kannoly Praveen, Sunil Chhetri, Vikram Partap Singh.

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