The 38-year-old Chhetri, who will play his last Asia Cup in Doha (January 12 to February 10), has also applied to play at least one friendly match against Asian countries ranked in the top seven, such as Iran, Japan or Saudi Arabia, before the continental tournament.
We will face Australia, Uzbekistan and Syria at the Asia Cup (in group matches), so Stimac (as well as goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu) has been talking about long training camps. We need it and I really hope we get it, Chhetri said during a virtual press interaction.
When you go to a national camp, players have injuries, they come with different psychological levels from their clubs. You have to take care of all that and that takes more time, he said, attributing the team’s success in the last two tournaments to a long camp lasting over 50 days.
India won the tri-national international tournament in Manipur (March 22-28) before winning titles at the Intercontinental Cup (June 9-18) in Bhubaneswar and the SAFF Championship (June 21-July 4) in Bengaluru. The players were in the national camp from mid-May till the SAFF Championship.
Stimac said he needed at least a four-week training camp to perform well in the Asia Cup, while the All India Football Federation (AIFF) management indicated that his demand would be difficult to fulfill as thewe won’t play Japan, Iran or South Korea, we won’t know the level of Australia (India’s strongest opponents in the Asia Cup).
To prepare forThese big matches against top teams, we need a four-week training camp. If we have a five-day camp, we will not be ready for these big matches. To face Australia in the Asia Cup, we need to be at least a couple of levels above what we are in the ISL, and for that we need more preparation time.
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