The 35-year-old Chhetri has performed brilliantly in recent years, but after scoring the only goal for India in a 1-2 defeat against Oman in September, He has not goal in the last three matches of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. Asked if he has found a player in India to replace Chhetri in the future, Stimak said, "I don't know why people mention about replacing Sunil." He is not going anywhere. He is fit and doing great. He is a very important player for us. He is fit like a 29-year-old player. As long as he is doing the same training and giving his best for the Indian team, he will be with us. I can assure you this. '
He said, 'He (Sunil) had some good chances, also a chance against Afghanistan and in general Sunil scores nine times out of 10. But that does not happen on that day, but that does not mean that there has been some change in his game. It happens in football. ' Stimak said that he was disappointed with the team's performance in the last few matches and that he cited important players' points as the main reason for the team's exclusion from the World Cup race. He said, 'After the last two matches, we have returned home after some disappointment. We had to face a lot of difficulties regarding protest and warning. The biggest issue was the injury problem. The most important players were Sandesh Jhingan, Rowlin Borges and Amarjeet Singh who didn't played in the tournament matches. Prannoy was also injured during the Oman match, all of which affected the outcome. '
On Indian players scoring fewer goals in FIFA World Cup qualifying, the coach said, "Can you name any player from the club who has an Indian passport and is scoring a goal?" Why are you expecting that we will score goals at the international level, while none of our strikers are scoring goals in the domestic league as well. I don't work with players every day. I only work with them five days before the match, but the important thing is that we are creating opportunities. '