New Delhi: India players need to defend well and should convert the chances that come their way if they want to beat the more skilled Qatar team in their pre-Olympic football qualifier, feels coach Desmond Bulpin.

"We need to defend well. There isn't any room for silly mistakes," Bulpin said.

"There's no doubting they are more technically equipped and an advanced footballing nation than us. So they will try to dominate. But I'm sure we will have our chances too. We are working on our set-pieces and have specific plans which I can't divulge at the moment," he added.

India play Qatar on June 19 at the Al Sadd Stadium in Doha and at the Balewadi Sports Complex, Pune on June 23.

Indian Arrows - the side he coaches in the I-League - form the nucleus of the Indian squad and that is likely to help the team.

"The fact is that have stayed and played together for such a long time. They gel well both on and off the field. In that sense, we stay ahead of Qatar. But the national team is not just about the Arrows. The other boys who have come in have impressed me with their attitude, discipline and professionalism," the Englishman said in an interview to www.the-aiff.com.
While his boys lost out on a day's practice due to rain, they made up for that by training indoors.

"The incessant rain has been a bane. But on days we haven't been able to train on the field, we have compensated with indoor sessions. The attitude of the boys have been excellent."

Asked if he had any idea as to how Qatar have prepared for the match, Bulpin said, "They have been long preparing for this match. They have had a long camp in Spain. Add to the wonderful facilities they boast of, I'd say they've prepared a bit more than us. Let's not forget they stay way above us in the FIFA rankings."

Bulpin is also hoping to see the Indian community in Doha turn up for the match.

"Given the fact there are many Indians based in Doha, I expect good support for our boys. That would pump up the boys for sure."

He said he would not mind if it rains during India's return leg match in Pune.

"Let's take one match at a time. I'm concentrating on the away-match at the moment. But yeah, if it rains during our home-match, I won't complain."

(Agencies)