Calcutta / New Delhi: Practice makes perfect and if one goes by what Mehtab Hussain has to say, India coach wim Koevermans has been imparting perfect practice to his wards. Mehtab credited the Dutch coach for their incredible victory over Cameroon in the Nehru Cup final on Sunday.
According to Mehtab, the Indians are following a different practice regime these days. “Our practice pattern is completely different now... It’s always ball practice. That was the reason we could play some good passing game against Cameroon,” Hussain said on Monday.
“We could stop Cameroon’s wing play... They had two dangerous wingers and our practice did the trick,” he added.
Hussain, along with Syed Rahim Nabi, Nirmal Chetri and Sanju Pradhan, returned to the city on Monday morning.
“I have been flooded with phone calls and congratulatory text messages... It’s certainly a proud moment for all of us... We prove ourselves... It’s a memorable day,” Hussain said.
Nabi, on the other hand, enjoyed the celebration after reaching home. “It’s a very happy day at the family. We are celebrating the occasion,” he said.
Meanwhile, former Indian football captain IM Vijayan has hailed the national team for their fearless display and “never-say-die attitude” against Cameroon.
“I was really impressed by the never-say-die attitude of the players… They showed character and immense fighting spirit against a very good African side,” Vijayan said.
“The Cameroon players had the physical advantage, but the Indians matched them in skill and ball passing. They also won the ball a lot from the opposition players. The young players were relentlessly running here and there all over the field. The new coach has done a great job,” he said.
“Chetri has gained in experience, he has played with the likes of Bhaichung Bhutia for long and he was excellent in the tournament.
“Especially in the second-half of the final match, he was creating problems for the opposition,” he said while praising Sunil Chetri.
“Gouramangi Singh, too, played well in the defence and he gave India the lead with a fearless goal. He was not afraid of taking the lead in that situation which could have led to his injury,” said Vijayan.