India striker Jeje Lalpekhlua on Monday stressed that the away fixture against China will not be easy to win. India will be playing their first-ever away match against China on Saturday, October 13, 2018. Speaking to reporters at the two-day National Training camp in New Delhi, the 27-year-old said the side needs to get something from this game. “This game is not going to be easy. It will be difficult. But this is preparation for the Asian Cup. We get a good opportunity to play against big teams. We need to take something from this game.”
The Chennaiyin FC forward further described the contest as a “huge test”. “An away game is very difficult, so it will be a huge test for us. But it will help us in getting ready for the tournament in UAE. The result is important but most important is how we perform,” he said.
In ISL Chennaiyin FC enjoy an intense rivalry with Sunil Chhetri-led Bengaluru FC. But Jeje said the club rivalry with the Indian skipper will never affect how the two play together for India. “National team and club teams are different. Because whenever we play against each other, we play for our team. But when we play for the National team, it becomes about the flag, the nation,” he said.
But will his style of play change going from club football to playing for the national team? “As a player, I need to adapt to the style of play that coach wants, and the situation requires. When you play for the club, you need to perform how the club coach wants, and when you play for the national team, you do things as per the National coach. But the purpose remains the same – to win the match,” Jeje explained.
While China are ranked 75th in the world, India are ranked 97th. Up against a side which is higher in rankings, Jeje said that if the team performs together, they can put up a competitive fight. We need to work together. If we play together, like we have played before, I am sure we will get a good result,” he concluded.