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AIFF Media

'32 above or below in the FIFA Ranking doesn't decide the result of a football match': Stephen Constantine

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The Indian National Team manager and captain Stephen Constantine and Sunil Chhetri were talking to the press before the key AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Kyrgyzstan. . .

The Indian National team is facing the White Falcons on Tuesday and will be looking to make it to the top of Group A in AFC Asian Cup qualification. The National Team manager and captain sounded positive a day before the game and will be looking for a victory on Tuesday. 

India are basking in the glory of winning seven matches on a trot but coach Stephen Constantine isn't being complacent ahead of taking on the Kyrgyz Republic on Tuesday (June 13, 2017) in their first home match of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Qualifiers.

READ FULL MATCH PREVIEW OF AN IMPORTANT 2019 AFC ASIAN CUP QUALIFIERS

On being asked whether being placed 32 places above their opponents will give India a psychological advantage, National coach Stephen Constantine stated: “I think the ranking comes for a particular reason. But, on the given day, you have to perform on the field. 32 above or below in the FIFA Ranking doesn't decide the result of a football match. Your hard work counts on the pitch."

"It’ll be a battle of stamina tomorrow. We are very physical and we think we're strong enough to take them on. We’re hard working team. They are a difficult side to break down."

Although Constantine sounded confident about his boys, his respect for the opponents was clear as well, "They are an experienced side. They have quality and they have a great experience. As I heard, a lot of players ply their trade in Europe, which is a great sign of their calibre. I expect a very good fight from the. At the end of the day, it’s going to be a tough challenge for us."

He informed: "All are available for selection and there's a tough competition for every position.”

Talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri who has already scored 53 goals in 93 International outings donning the National Colours said the vibes in the team are very positive at the moment.

Sunil Chhetri, who was rested against Nepal in the recently-played International Friendly in Mumbai, stated: "I was pretty happy to watch the Nepal game from the stands. Getting a clean sheet is very important and we have done it. A lot of boys were given chances and they executed it very well. We all are ready to give it a shot and I think, it's good for our coach as well."

“It’s been a while since we feel so positive approaching a game. Winning a game is always good for you. You’ll always feel positive when you’re winning. Puerto Rico, Nepal -- trust me, not a single game was easy for us. By God’s grace, going out and winning is tough but it instils positivity within you,” he said at the official pre-match Media Interaction ahead of India’s AFC Asian Cup Qualifier against the Kyrgyz Republic.

But also he sounded cautious. “We can’t afford to be complacent at this moment. One moment of slip-up and everything will be ruined. We are churning out results- we’re pride to take the results and get the clean sheets.”

“There was a tough time for us but we believed in ourselves. Now the table has turned and we’re getting results. Last day, I was happy to sit in the stands to see the boys garnering a good win against Nepal. Getting out and winning every day is tough but thankfully, but we’re being able to do so,” he pronounced.

“We have a huge task to cut out tomorrow. We know, they’re a strong side but we’re here to give everything we have to win the tie.”

 

Published: Mon Jun 12, 2017 06:51 PM IST

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