Part of India’s formidable backline, Sandesh Jhingan, feels the upcoming match against China will be a great opportunity for the Blues to improve upon their individual performances ahead of the AFC Asian Cup in January. Speaking to reporters at the national training camp in New Delhi on Monday, the 25-year old said, “We have to understand why we are playing these games. We play these games to improve ourselves, to improve the team from individual perspectives. So, we look to exceed as a team. Results do matter, but in friendlies, it’s more important to bolster the performance. The boys are getting back together after three months so our focus will be on putting together a good performance,” he said. For the first time in its footballing history, India will travel to China for the away friendly match against China on October 13, 2018.
The Kerala Blasters captain further said that any result in an away fixture would be good, but the team would, obviously, look for a win. “As a player, we want our team to give our best, want them to give their 100 percent. The commitment, the desire should be second to none. If we do that, stick to the plans, play as a team, any result away is good. A draw or a win. Of course, we are going to go for a win.”
Speaking on their Asian opponents, Jhingan said, “They have got a very good side. They have a good coach. They have a solid squad and with the money coming through the league football and big players coming in, they have really grown. They have a solid ranking, so I am looking forward to it. It is a step for our preparation for the Asia Cup, and China is a big country in the tournament.”
When enquired on what kind of tactics India would be looking to employ against China, who are ranked 75th in world football, the defender cheekily said that he is not the right person to answer the question. “I will do on the field what Stephen Constantine tells me to do. You have to ask him,” he concluded.