Nehru Cup 2012 Preview: India face Syria tomorrow

India vs Syria
Nehru Cup 2012
22nd August 2012
Venue: Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi
Kick-off: 7PM

Team India will take Syria tomorrow in the Nehru Cup 2012 opening fixture. Both teams are fielding a relatively new set of players. It will be the first assignment of newly appointed Dutch coach Wim Koevermans and he would like to see no less than a outright victory against the two back-to-back times runners-up of Nehru Cup.

Fresh faces like Alwyn George, Sanju Pradhan and Manandeep Singh will be hoping to make the best use of chances provided to them. Alwyn George in particular has been making a lot of rounds among the fans with his arsenal of trickery and skills. It will be interesting to watch what role he is used to play for the Blue Tigers.

Syria being termed as one of the most improved nations of Asia will definitely possess a real threat for the Blue Tigers but according to the newly appointed captain, Sporting Lisbon's Sunil Chhetri, it all depends on how his team plays. “They are one of the more improved nations in Asia. All I know about them is that they are very good. But having said that, it’s about us isn’t it. We have to stick to the plan and play our game. Rest will be taken care of", said Chhetri.

“The most important thing for a player is to understand what the coach wants from him and the team at large. We as a team should respond to the coach and play as a cohesive unit. I feel that is the most important thing.” added Chhetri.

On the new style of play...

From the books of Dutch Football, "Total Football" came to life and one can expect that something similar will be on cards when Wim's boys come out to play against Syria. According to the newly appointed Dutch coach, "Keeping possession of the ball stays the priority. At the same time, we need to create chances and convert them as they come our way. We have also laid equal emphasis on defending. The moment you lose the ball, you need to be aggressive and earn it back – and the faster, the better. We have been practicing it for some days now."

What the captain has to say...
Sunil Chhetri(left) beside coach Wim Koevermans in the press conference ahead of Syria encounter in Nehru Cup 2012

Despite knowing the fact that it wont be very easy for a team to adapt to the new style of play under Wim, Sunil backed his players for the efforts that is being put in the training ground.  "As far as this new style of play is concerned, all I would like to say is that the team is doing well and trying to adapt the style. It won’t happen overnight. You have to give it time and I believe with time we will be able to achieve our goal", said the Indian skipper.

And Syed Rahim Nabi adds...
Syed Rahim Nabi explains his vieew

One of the most versatile player of Indian Football, Syed Rahim Nabi also commented on adapting to the new style of play,"Fitting into a new system will always take time and you need to be patient with both the Coach and the players. In the Preparatory Camp, he has stressed on a new style and we have adapted fast. Take for example the friendly against Pailan Arrows -- it was for everyone to see the manner we pressed for the ball when they had possession. In the second half, our passing was much better. I firmly believe we can perform and deliver."

On India's chances..

Sunil Chhetri feels that his boys are ready to execute and implement every lesson learned on the training grounds to the field. He also adds that Team India wont be adding any pressure to itself despite being the Champions in the previous two editions of the Tourney. "Concentrate on the present" will be the mantra.

The match will be telecasted live from the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium from 7 PM onwards.
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About Debraj Banerjee

Hi, I am Debraj Banerjee from Adra, West Bengal. A keen follower of Indian football and always an optimist that the game will get the recognition it truely deserves. What we ask from you is your support and one day the dream might turn true. Fingers crossed for Indian football. Cheers!

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