India coach targets quarter-final finish in FIFA U-17 World Cup
India's U-17 coach Luis Norton de Matos is targetting a quarterfinal finish in the upcoming FIFA World Cup, his optimism emanating from the team spirit among the teens besides improvement in technique and tactic.
De Matos was appointed head coach in March this year and in a short span of time, he has tried to build a team ready to fight the best.
"When we talk about targets we usually associate victories, a finish in the quarterfinal. That is a legitimate dream. We will do everything to fight the favourites and the stronger teams," De Matos said.
Talking about the larger scheme of things, he added, "The ultimate objective is to show the world our progress and growth that young Indian football players can practice fair and great football and that there is hope for an even better future."
A former manager with the Benfica reserve side, the Portuguese had replaced Nicolai Adam, who was forced to resign under controversial circumstances after a revolt from the players.
The team had an exposure trip to Europe as part of preparations for the mega-event, which will be held across six venues from October
6 to 28.
"The team has made progress during these three months of work. They have a defined game idea which is yet to be perfected.
But through the ongoing training exercises, game simulation, and our playing model, we are working
"But there is something that no manager in the world can do in eight months of preparation, like the experience of 10 years of competition as the majority of World Cup teams have. Playing friendly games is not the same as official games."
He called the Europe outing a "decisive" one, and added they would look to reduce the gap further.