India face Maldives in the second semi-final of the 2013 SAFF Championship
They may have tasted success in their last two outings against Maldives, but Indian football coach Wim Koevermans said ahead of their SAFF Cup semi-final against the islanders that underestimating a team was not in his nature.
“That is past. We need to lie in the present. We don’t underestimate any team and won’t ever underestimate any,” Koevermans said. The Dutchman stressed on the importance of recovery of players in such a hectic schedule.
India play Maldives in the second semi-final of the 2013 SAFF Championship on Monday. Koevermans did watch Maldives play Afghanistan in the final group B league match. “Yeah, I watched Maldives for 90 minutes. They are a tough unit,” he said.
Referring to comments of the Maldives’ captain Ali Ashfaq that this is the ‘weakest Indian team ever’, Koevermans said, “Everyone had labelled our group as the Group of Death. And now we are in the semis.”
“We need to be ready for Maldives and are preparing ourselves,” he maintained.
Former India U-23 captain Raju Gaikwad felt that Sunil Chhetri missing the semi-final (double bookings) won’t prove to be decisive. “There are two ways of looking at it. It’s a big motivation for others to rise to the occasion. We are fit and raring to go for the semi-final,” Gaikwad said.PTI