India suffered a 1-0 defeat against Oman on Tuesday and remain winless after their first five matches.
Former India international goalkeeper Henry Menezes felt that the lack of a larger pool of players is affecting Indian football the most.
Speaking to Goal after India’s defeat, Menezes opined, “It is a new-look defence. They are making mistakes. The problem is we don't have options. We need to have a larger pool of players. We played like headless chickens in attack today. There is nobody in the striking zone. We made defensive errors and that cost us a goal. It looked offside, but an error nonetheless. The two forced substitutions also hurt us. The plan got jeopardized.”
On playing Ashique Kuruniyan in the left-back role, Menezes opined, “I don't think Stimac has many options and therefore he is forced to play Ashique there. The entire team was rotated well and Ashique did not commit any glaring mistake. I am concerned that India had no idea what to do in the attacking third. We did not have any creativity.”
The Western India Football Association (WIFA) CEO also mentioned that attacking players like Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh and Ashique Kuruniyan should take more initiatives going forward.
“Sunil (Chhetri) has to be more upfront. He has to be in the penetrating zone. India could have beaten them if we played to our abilities. They looked jittery in the closing stages. But we should take our chances. Players like Chhetri, Udanta, Ashique should take the initiative and go forward and should look to create chances. That was missing,” concluded Menezes.