We need to utilise chances in attacking third: Indian women's football team coach Dennerby
The Blue Tigresses will launch their campaign in the 19th Asian Games and AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifiers Round 2 in September and October, respectively.
CHENNAI: Poor conversion rate in the attacking third is something that the Indian women's team needs to change ahead of their Asian Games and second-round Asian Qualifying Championship campaign, feels head coach Thomas Dennerby.
Asked about areas that can be improved upon, Dennerby said, "We have to utilise our chances around the offensive box. We created a lot of goal-scoring chances in recent games but didn't come out with so many goals." Dennerby said that his team also needs to strengthen its defensive formation.
"We also need to keep on working hard with the defence, which has been working very well, and we didn't let any goals in for two games in the Olympic qualification --not even a goal-scoring chance, I will say.
But, we let some easy goals go in during the friendly games when we were preparing for the Olympic qualification, which I feel is not good," he told the AIFF website.
Counter-attack will be the Indian team's mantra.
"If we have the discipline to play with really strong defence, we know that we always create chances, even against really good teams. So, we should be sharp when it's time to finish and keep up the good discipline and defence. I think India could be a team that can go all the way through the qualification if we have a super good day," said Dennerby.
While India has been pitted in Group B of the Asian Games against Chinese Taipei and Thailand, it will be up against Uzbekistan in the Olympic Qualifiers, with Japan and Vietnam being the other sides in the group for the same.
Meanwhile, Dennerby feels that India has been clubbed in a tough group where it is not the favourite.
However, he asserts that strong defence and ample chances are created to lead to glory for the side.
He said, "We need to live with that from day one when we arrive there. And, when we arrive in Bhubaneswar, we have to prepare mentally for being a team that's going to make it through the next round. And also, of course, physically, technically, and tactically, we have to prepare."
When asked if Indian women's football is ready to go to the next level, he admitted that "it is still a work in progress and will remain the same for the next few years".
He also reckoned that playing regularly against top sides would help the cause.
"India has a huge number of young players. It is up to them to decide. I want to be there. I want to play in the World Cup one day because no coach in the world can ever force you to do it. You have to live with that passion yourself, and you have to put in the effort. The coach can only help you and guide you on what to do, but it's your effort. That is the key," he signed off.