Indian women’s football team newly-appointed coach Thomas Dennerby on Saturday said the team needs to play at least 10 international matches against rivals with different playing styles ahead of the AFC Asian Cup. Dennerby was previously in charge of the Indian Under-17 Women’s World Cup team but was appointed head coach by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) last month to help the senior team prepare for the AFC Asian Cup.
India will host this tournament to be played from January 20 to February 6. The 62-year-old coach said in an online press conference, ‘It is very important for us to play 11 to 13 matches before the tournament (AFC Asian Cup) starts. The federation is working very hard to help us, we are aware of the situation due to coronavirus.
He said, ‘It is important for us to play at least 10 matches before the tournament starts and we need to play against different opponents with different playing styles.’ The team is currently in Jamshedpur for the preparatory camp. “We will try our best to reach the knockout stage, which means going to the quarter-finals and if we can do that then it will be a successful tournament for us,” the Indian Women’s team coach said.
Dennerby added, “It is difficult for us to find a rival who will let the country come to us. Still, India is on the red list in some countries. It is difficult for the federation to play against better rival teams. But I know they are doing everything they can.” Dennerby said that his target in the AFC Asian Cup is to reach the quarter-finals.