Coach of the Indian national football team, Stephen Constantine, has said that it is important for India to continue their momentum when they face Myanmar in their last home match of the AFC Asian Cup Qualifier at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margao on Tuesday. “This match is the first step to Asian Cup’s preparation which is precisely 14 months away,” he said at the official pre-match press conference. “The match allows us the opportunity to test the depth of our squad. Obviously, we are looking forward to it,” he added.
However, Constantine was in no mood to take the visitors lightly and stated that the match can be anyone’s game. “Myanmar are a very disciplined side. The coach is there for 8 long years and he follows a similar system. We had a torrid time in Myanmar, ” the 55-year-old said.
Skipper Chhetri reiterated his coach’s thoughts and said, “I admit that they had a lot of ball possession. They kept us under tremendous pressure throughout. But at the end of the day, we took all three points. I will any day take three points at the end, no matter who has more ball possession.”
Responding to the Myanmar coach’s comments that he’s ready to provide Chhetri with a Myanmar passport, Chhetri said, “Let’s not take away the credit from our defenders. As I remember we defended for most of the time and they carried out the job with utmost precision. If he hands me a Myanmar passport, it is to be given to the defenders, Jeje, Udanta too.”
Praising the phenomenal work rate of the Indian team, coach Stephen Constantine said, “The work rate was phenomenal. We have continued our hard work for last 2 years and these are the results. Everyone knows that we are a hard-working unit and we will continue to do so.”