The newly appointed Indian football team coach Igor Stimac made a very good impression with his knowledge of Indian players and with his announcement of 37-membered preliminary squad for the upcoming Kings Cup during his interaction with the media on Friday.

However, it is too soon to say anything as these are the early days for the new coach and with India playing a number of qualifiers this year, he has big hurdles to cross. He called India a ‘sleeping giant’ when it comes to football.

While the previous coach, Constantine was conservative in his football style, with more focus on defense Igor Stimac was much criticized in the past for leaving the midfield unbalanced on a number of occasions.

“I have to appreciate everything Mr. Stephen has done with the Indian football team during his stint. To go from 173 in the FIFA rankings to where we are now is not a joke”, Stimac told about his predecessor.

As he recognized the importance of India’s top goal-scorer as the role-model for the young players, he said,” Of course, Sunil Chhetri is very valuable to our team. He is a role model to these young players who are knocking at the door. He has played so many games, well experienced and scored many goals. But just like others, he needs to fight for a place in the team.”