Thomas Dennerby (Photo/Indian Football Team Twitter)

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Dec 12 : Ahead of India’s first clash against Sweden in U17 Women’s Football Tournament, head coach Thomas Dennerby said he wants the team to play in an aggressive manner with very strict defense.

“I want us to be more open offensively and very strict defensively. I want us to have a good passing game where the players know which spaces to come into, where you want to attack and when to play the crucial passes. In defence, you have to play as a unit and you have to be compact in order to keep the opposition away from the scoring zones,” All India Football Federation (AIFF) quoted Dennerby as saying.

The match will mark India U17 head coach Dennerby’s debut on the touchline since his appointment in November.

Ahead of the opener, he spoke about his expectations from the encounter and the tournament as a whole.

“This will be the first match-experience against another country for the team since my arrival. I am hoping to see that the players can produce on the pitch the things that we have been working on in training such as formation, movement etc. We have to make sure that we plan well for the games and that the players are actively looking to do the right things on the field,” he said.

Sweden U17 head coach Par Lagerstrom spoke about Friday’s game as well and said that he is looking forward to it, especially given the fact that Dennerby has coached in Sweden for a number of years.

“Of course, Thomas (Dennerby) knows the Sweden way to play extremely well but still I think it’s the players that will play. We’ll see what happens tomorrow and we’re looking forward to the game,” he said.

When asked about what he made of the Indian team, he said, “I have not seen them play before and would like to have a better view of the team. After the tournament, I definitely will. I have talked to Thomas and he said that India has very technical players – fast and different types of players. So we’ll see.”

A total of 22 players have been picked by Dennerby for the competition, which is being contested with one eye on next year’s FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup.

The match between India and Sweden women’s teams will kick off at 6 pm on Friday, December 13.


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