Steven Dias is among the few seniors new coach Armando Colaco retained from the 2011 Asian Cup squad. The wide right midfielder, known for his accurate deliveries and free-kicks, praised the style adopted by the new coach.
"I like the coach's philosophy of short passing in particular because he likes to play it out to the wings for deliveries into the box," said the Churchill Brothers medio, speaking after Monday evening's practice session at the Ambedkar stadium here. "He's making me work on my crossing and utilising dead-ball situations regularly."
Dias was also a member of the side which lost 0-5 to the UAE ahead of the Asian Cup finals in Doha earlier this year.
"A lot of players were carrying injuries. For the match coming up, the coach will direct the midfield about whether we should play more defensively or attack," he said, adding, "I won't say that they are better but they are more confident - that's what we need to work on."
Asked if he would need time to work on combining with a possible new frontline pair of Sunil Chhetri and young gun Jeje Lalpekhlua, Dias said: "I have been playing with Sunil since 2004 while I played with Jeje during the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers in Malaysia recently. I have a good understanding with them."
Dias, 27, also spoke about long-time midfield partners Renedy Singh and Anthony Pereira. "It's sad because both Anthony (still not fit) and Renedy (axed) have a lot of class. Others who can fit in though."
For Indian Arrows and India Under-23 skipper Raju Gaekwad, the senior national camp is yet to begin due to an ankle niggle. "The ankle will be fine in a day or two," he said, adding, "I like being here with the seniors especially because I'm looking to learn from them."