Refuting claims of a rift within the team against coach Stephen Constantine, skipper Sunil Chhetri has revealed that he never spoke on the issue because it was not true. “If I knew something about it, I would have commented. When this thing came, a lot of people called me. I didn’t take those calls because I didn’t want to speak about it because it’s not true,” Chhetri was quoted saying by the goal.com. “When we joined the camp, we told the gaffer (Constantine) exactly what was (happened) there. He understands how much we want to play because he faces it everywhere. Anything else anywhere, I can’t help it because it’s not true,” Chhetri added.
Earlier, there were several reports in the media that certain players in the Indian dressing room were unhappy with Constantine and were seeking his removal. However, with Chhetri’s statement, the matter will seemingly be put to rest. AIFF general secretary Kushal Das had also reiterated that there was no question of removing the coach.
Meanwhile, as India gears up to face Myanmar in the last home match of AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, Chhetri is no mood to take the opposition lightly. Complementing the visiting team, he had said, “The entire country will get to see their technicalities when we meet them. There is no shame in admitting that they dominated us when we played in Yangon. But we were resilient. Also do not forget that they came back from 0-2 down to make it 2-2 against Kyrgyz Republic. That speaks of their strength.”
However, the Indian captain stressed that his side needs to maintain the momentum in Tuesday’s match at Margao and said that India simply cannot afford to take the foot off the pedal.