Indian captain Bhaichung Bhutia and his team-mates are sweating it out in Dubai trying to get into top physical shape and also working towards forming a well-knit unit in preparation for the Nehru Cup to be held in August.
The players under the supervision of national coach, Englishman Bob Houghton, went through the paces in the evening at the newly built Sevens Stadium on the outskirts of Dubai.
Speaking to HT from Dubai, Bhutia said everything was going according to plan. "We have had some practice sessions, which have been very good, " the striker said after returning to his hotel room from a training session.
"It's been just three days since we started training. We are presently focussing on fitness as everyone has just got back from a break," he said.
The Sikkim player said that all his team-mates were enjoying themselves in the Emirates state as all the facilities were excellent. "The football facilities are very good. They have five-six grounds and the boys are happy to train in these conditions."
Bhutia said that only Sunil Chettri, who sustained an injury during the Santosh Trophy, was not fully involved in training although he was recovering fast.
On mid-fielder Climax Lawrence, Bhutia said that he would join the team in Dubai once he recovered from illness. "Climax has to recover from his sickness. Only then can he join the team," he said.
Bhutia added that he “wanted to make the most of the Dubai training sessions” before leaving for Barcelona.