A stern test awaits young Indian Arrows as they face table toppers Minerva Punjab in an away fixture of the Hero I-League at the Guru Nanak Stadium on Monday.
It will be a tough outing for the young Indian Arrows side comprising of Indian U-17 World Cup squad and Indian U-19 team members as they were on the receiving end when these two sides collided in Goa, thanks to William Opoku Asiedu’s brilliant brace.
Indian Arrows coach Luis Norton de Matos has clearly stretched that it’s not the result that he is looking for but the development of the young side.
His side had a reasonable 10 days break in order to prepare themselves for the upcoming challenge.
When the Portuguese was asked about his team’s preparation for the upcoming game he told media that he studied Minerva Punjab really well.
“I again want to point out that we are not here to win or lose. We are here for the experience of the competitive matches. My team is very young. They are 18-year-old players and it’s essential that they play bigger stronger opponents for their development,” De Matos said.
He praised the Punjab-based side wholeheartedly as well.
“We have worked on Minerva’s strength especially their throw-in and other set pieces. Minerva are the leaders of I- League and are a very strong side,” he added.
According to the Portuguese coach, it’s a long-term project to make Indian players adapt to European style of play.
“Yes, it’s a long-term project. I don’t want to change my style of play for a different opponent every game. I want my players to play the same kind of football so that when these players are ready in 2 years for the senior side they can counter European teams easily. In order to achieve this the players need more competition,” De Matos expressed.
Minerva Punjab coach Wangkhem Khogen Singh, whose side have accumulated 10 points in four matches until now, said he will field an unchanged starting line-up tomorrow.
“We want to keep our winning streak to stretch as much as possible. We will not change our team or our team tactics. We won’t take any side lightly no matter how our opponent is,” he stressed.
The Bhutanese attacker Chencho, who has already hit the right chord, said he wants nothing but three points on Monday.
“We want 3 points. That’s it. We will try our best to achieve that,” he said, clearly put forward his intentions.