Khel Now has time and again said that Indian footballers need to go to better countries and come back as better footballers.
As India gear up for the second match in the Hero International tri-series against St Kitts and Nevis to be played at the Mumbai Football Arena on August 24, Coach Stephen Constantine lavished huge praise on the newly-appointed captain Sandesh Jhingan.
“The captain has to reflect the character of the team. He has to set the tone of the team. Sandesh is a fighter like me who loves to lead the side from the front,” Constantine said.
Jhingan, who leads the crop of the new breed of Indian Footballers had made his debut for India against Nepal, which was Constantine’s first match as a Coach in his second stint.
“Sandesh to me a player who should be playing is a bigger league,” Constantine certified.
The defender par excellence wasn’t too much willing to be over the moon. “Playing for your Country is itself a great honor and here I am, leading my Country,” he stated.
Jhingan has played a stellar role in the Indian back-four along with Anas Etathodika, Pritam Kotal, Narayan Das and Gurpreet Sandhu (in goal) in helping India create a new record for Indian Football in winning nine International matches (including the unofficial match against Bhutan).
Constantine further went to say that Sandesh is one of the ‘leaders for the future.’
“In coming days, at least we can identify Sandesh as a leader once Sunil hangs his boots,” he maintained.
Meanwhile, Chhetri, along with Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Udanta Singh will be joining the National Camp after Bengaluru FC’s AFC Cup stint.
India have won two of their two matches in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers against Myanmar (away) and the Kyrgyz Republic (at home) and will face Macau on September 5 (in Macau).
After defeating Mauritius 2-1 in a come-from-behind victory, the National team manager had said, “It (winning eight matches on a trot) will mean nothing unless we qualify for the AFC Asian Cup 2019. That’s where my goal lies and it will be so. I’m not a person who goes by the history.”
“Be it 9, 10, 11, it matters little for me unless we achieve our target. Obviously, it’s important to win matches to continue the momentum. But, our main aim is to get into the right shape before taking on Macau and it’s still the same,” Constantine mentioned.
Stephen shared the credit with all the backroom staffs as well while thanking them in front of the media.
“It’s not only about me or the players. The doctor, physio, media manager, equipment manager, masseur- everyone is part of the job and they deserve the due credit. All of them play their due part to keep the best players on the pitch.”
The National team is set to play their next game on 24th August at the same venue.