The juniors are a much needed injection of talent into the senior squad according to India striker Sunil Chhetri. "These boys from the Under-23 side are very good. With the kind of talent they have, they will soon knock a lot of seniors out of the side," said the sharpshooter.
Chhetri spoke to HT after Thursday's training session that consisted mainly of passing drills. "With a little more than three weeks to go now, we haven't yet begun to think about UAE to be honest. For now the focus on just getting into shape physically and laying emphasis on ball possession," he continued.
"The youngsters are a boon that way because they're extremely fit and players like Jeje (Lalpekhlua), Shilton (D'Silva) and Raju (Gaikwad) have impressed me. Lalrindika (Ralte) was someone I didn't know much about but he is incredibly talented! It's great for the future here and there's a lot more pressure on the seniors now," said the 26-year-old who credited the Indian Arrows concept for honing the youngsters' skills and temperament.
Chhetri continued, "I am still not a 100% physically yet but I'm getting there. These last twenty odd days have helped a lot. The training has been intense, gym sessions in the morning and then playing in the evenings. We're a much fitter side now."
Asked by HT if tactics had been discussed as yet, "The coach will talk to us soon. It makes sense to attack sensibly because I've noticed that when a team gets defensive, they get hit regularly," he said, adding that he would take a call on joining a new outfit from Chirag United within the next ten days.
Mohun Bagan and Churchill Brothers are believed to be in interested in signing the forward.