Indian football team coach Igor Stimac on Tuesday said that Vietnam are clear favourites but India have the potential to win the Hung Thinh Championship.
"We are definitely capable of winning the tournament, but I think it's the small things that will decide who wins it," said India head coach Igor Stimac.
"I think we have enough quality to match them, and if we stay positive and play with a good mindset, we can do it," he said.
"Obviously, Vietnam have a lot of momentum with their performances in the last couple of years. They have a good team and are playing at home, which is why they are probably the favourites, but we also have a good chance as we have a young squad."
While the confidence in the squad is high, Stimac was wary of the fact that most of his players are still in a pre-season mode right now, and that rotation would be the order of the day for the team.
"It's a good challenge for us, though we need to make sure that we combine and rotate our players in a proper way. We need to make sure that nobody gets injured, because most of the players we have are still in pre-season mode, and they need to be nurtured. We need to be careful because we are facing two sides that are in full swing competitions," said Stimac.
However, the Indian Football Team has enough momentum to not be too worried about that at the moment, feels the 55-year-old coach.
"With regards to the momentum that we have after the June AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers (India beat Cambodia, Afghanistan and Hong Kong in back-to-back matches), the optimism is high and the positiveness which currently surrounds the team should only bode well for us."
While a couple of new faces are currently in the Blue Tigers' squad, the head coach has not closed the doors on any player that is not with the team currently. It is more a matter of trying out various systems with a pool of around 40 players, in preparation for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.
"Nobody has been excluded. My actual list contains 40 players, and it is just because of the situation of the tournament that I can only choose 23 of them. My technical staff and I felt that this set of players were the best suited and most compatible for the two upcoming matches," he said.
The Indian football team left for Vietnam on Tuesday from Kolkata and will travel to Ho Chi Minh City, where they will participate in the Hung Thinh Friendly Football Tournament.