The intention is to try out as many players: Savio Medeira

 Nilanjan Datta

Savio Medeira
 A day after India’s International Friendly against Oman, the Indian National Team reached Dubai from Muscat on Friday (January 24) afternoon. The squad would be based in Dubai till March 3 for the Preparatory Camp which includes another International Friendly against Azerbaijan on February 27. Chief Coach Savio Medeira spoke at length to on his team’s plans, the match against Oman and the forthcoming AFC Challenge Cup. EXCERPTS:

What went wrong against Oman?
We conceded two goals within three minutes and that upset our rhythm. Some of the boys made their debut and it took them some time to get started. Midway into the first half, the boys settled down and started combining well. But the start spoiled it for us.

What plans do you have to mend your defence?
There were defensive lapses in the game and we have to correct our mistakes. The back four which played together for the first time and it’s understandable they will take some to get that combination right between themselves.

Do you have any changes in mind for the next International Friendly against Azerbaijan on February 27?
Absolutely! I had agreed to play two International Friendlies knowing that both the teams would be tough opponents and stronger than us. The intention is to try out as many players in these two International Friendlies.

What are the positives which you take out from Oman match?
Oman are a strong side. Playing against such teams gives that added confidence to the boys prior to a crucial tournament like the AFC Challenge Cup. The manner and the attitude displayed as we regrouped even after conceding those early goals needs to be appreciated. We need to remember that we took the field without five of our regulars.

There are a lot of players who are recovering at the moment. What’s the status of injuries of the players? Would they get fit prior to the AFC Challenge Cup?
They are recovering and are being monitored by the medical staff. I will take a call on their selection before we leave for Delhi.