Gurpreet: ‘We have to be smart in our approach’

India goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu is wary of all the opponents in the AFC Asian Cup starting January 5 in the UAE.

In the 2011 AFC Asian Cup campaign in Qatar, Gurpreet was the youngest player at 18.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

India goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, a top performer for the national team for the last three to four years, feels the unit needs to be smart in approach in the AFC Asian Cup starting in UAE from January 5.

In the 2011 campaign in Qatar, Gurpreet was the youngest player at 18. The current Indian side flaunts a host of U-23 players. “It highlights the development of the sport at the grassroots level in the last seven to eight years,” said Gurpreet, ahead of the tournament.

“Training alongside the biggest names in Indian football was something that I never expected. I tried to take every single day as it came, and make every single moment count and learn as much as I could.”

India will be up against Thailand, UAE and Bahrain at the group stage. Gurpreet is wary of all the opponents. “I feel all of them are extremely difficult to play against. No team will come into the Asian Cup without doing their homework. I am sure the other three teams will hold us in high regards as well. All of our three opponents are big challenges to face. We have to be smart in our approach.

“We have to take it one game at a time, look to get the best possible result in the first game, and then approach the second match accordingly,” he added.

Talking about the communication between him and the defenders, he said, “The more you play together, the trust level increases. Communication between the defenders and goalkeeper is a hallmark of a strong team and in my opinion, we have done well in that respect.”

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