Thursday, August 06, 2009

Barcelona trip to boost Nehru Cup title defence: Bhaichung Bhutia

Indian football team's month-long Barcelona tour yielded the desired result and will do a world of good to its Nehru Cup title defence, captain Bhaichung Bhutia said on Tuesday.
Talking from Barcelona, Bhutia said the side has achieved what they had set out for from their training stints at the FC Barcelona facilities. "It is always good to have a pre-season tour. The facilities are great here in FC Barcelona and so it has been a very good tour. The boys are making the most of the facilities and we are in fine shape and ready for the Nehru Cup," Bhutia said.
He said the best part of the training tour has been the improvement in the fitness level of the boys, especially the youngsters, which will give them the confidence in the August 18-30 Nehru Cup.
"The fitness level of the boys has improved a lot and (coach Bob) Houghton has allowed all of them to play (in the first two practice games against Spanish third division sides). So they are in the mix, which is great," he said. Bhutia would not compare the trip to the team's 2007 tour of Portugal ahead of the Nehru Cup which India won but said they have achieved what they had set out for from the tour.