After a comprehensive 4-1 victory against Thailand in the opening game, defender Pritam Kotal on Wednesday insisted that India will give hosts United Arab Emirates a real fight in the AFC Asian Cup. “We have our plans for the UAE game. You will be able to see them while we implement it on the pitch. They are a very good side. We have a lot of respect for them. But we are ready to give it a real fight,” Kotal was quoted as saying by All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) official website.
When asked whether the Blue Tigers view UAE as their toughest opponents in the group stage, Kotal said: “Before the Thailand game, would anybody have said that it was going to be easy? Every match is tough. We expect UAE to be a tough game too. They are the hosts. We have to fight in every game and aim to take three points.”
The Indian defence played a vital role in keeping the Thai attackers at bay in their last game, and Kotal believes that the back-four has a good chemistry between themselves. “Our back four has been playing together for some time now. That has built up our understanding, and the chemistry.
“We always talk to each other, tell each other where to position ourselves, whom to mark. This has obviously improved since we have been playing together for some time,” he said.