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No Jeje in Koevermans' 20-member squad for Nehru Cup

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Midfielders Joaquim Abranches and Rocus Lamare were the other notable names missing, with the Dutchman preferring to go with promising under-22 players Alwyn George and Manandeep Singh.

Once touted as the future of Indian football after his exploits in the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers last year, Jeje did not play a full match in the AFC U-22 Championship in Muscat.

In the first game against Lebanon, the talented striker from Mizoram had to be substitute after 20 minutes of play, while he could come only towards the end in the latter matches.

"The coach does not seem to be too convinced about his fitness. Moreover, he could not play as much as he would have liked to in the under-22 championship," a source close to the team said.

The core squad remains more or less the same with the likes of Gouramangi Singh, Syed Rahim Nabi, Clifford Miranda, Mehtab Hossain and Nirmal Chetri expected to lead the youngsters in the tournament beginning Wednesday and that includes teams such as Cameroon and Syria.

As far as the formation is concerned, it will be a departure from Bob Houghton's 4-4-2 configuration. The 1988 European Cup-winning coach is most likely going to employ a 4-2-3-1 formation with Chhetri being the lone man upfront.

"I'm confident in the abilities of my boys," Koevermans stressed.

"The practice sessions have been good. It's nice to see the boys pushing each other," he added. MORE

  

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