Muscat: Indian football team coach Wim Koevermans said the country will have to keep pace with the global changes in the sport and groom talent if it wants to become a competitive force at international level.
Asked what was his perception of Indian football, Koevermans, who took charge earlier this month, said, "There were some similarities in the style of play with Ireland, the last nation I worked in. But at the international level, the game has changed vastly and we need to implement the same to keep ourselves updated.”
"We need to get accustomed fast and try to develop with a young set of boys," he said after watching India play in the Under-22 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers here.
Koeverman, whose last assignment was with the Ireland team as high performance director, signed a two-year contract with the AIFF, and will officially take charge from Sunday.
The 51-year-old Koevermans, a former Dutch central defender, was part of the squad that won the 1988 European Championship.
"I am quite pleased with the manner things were conducted on the pitch. Obviously, there are areas of improvement. But one needs to remember that the performance came against a strong nation like United Arab Emirates.
"We had our moments on the field and could have won it. There were some elements which are promising indeed," he said.
Koevermans said results will come with time and fans will have to be patient.
"The new style and discipline will take time. There will have to be changes and it always takes time. So we just can`t afford to hurry at the moment. Let`s be patient and the difference will be evident."
Koevermans` first assignment with the Indian team will be the Nehru Cup in August-September.
"It`s too early to comment on that at the moment. I have some meeting lined up in the first week of July and only after that will I be in a position to dish it out," he said.