Stephen Constantine: ‘We can foresee a team for the next 10 years’

Stephen Constantine, the head coach of the Indian football team, is pleased to have a young squad chosen for the AFC Asian Cup 2019.

Stephen Constantine says there is no pressure on the Indian team for the AFC Asian Cup.   -  Sandeep Saxena

Stephen Constantine, the head coach of the Indian football team, is pleased to have a young squad chosen for the AFC Asian Cup 2019.

“I never differentiate between seniors and juniors. They are all playing for India. I’m not interested in their ages, but their abilities. Our average age is about 25. The situation is fantastic for Indian football where we can foresee a team for the next 10 years,” he was quoted as saying by AIFF.

Commenting on the recent friendly match between India and Oman, Constantine said, “It was a very good game for us. Oman were a very difficult opponent and have been unbeaten in the last 12 months. The boys worked very hard and I'm very pleased with the positive result (a 0-0 draw).”

‘Exceptional’

“It was phenomenal from the work-rate perspective. The numbers are exceptional. We were superb physically,” he added.

Stephen Constantine was encouraged by India's performance in the friendly against Oman. Photo: AIFF Media

 

The large Indian population in the UAE would signify a lot of support for the team in its contests. Despite this, there would be no pressure on the team, according to Constantine. He said, “There's no pressure on us. Four years before no one expected us to qualify. After we qualified everyone was thinking that we are going to lose the three games. It’s up to us to prove that we deserve to be here.”

What are the discernible areas of improvement for the side, after its contest against Oman? “We won’t get six-seven chances in these sort of games. We need convert the two or three which we get. We gave the ball cheaply at times. We try to score in every game but you are not going to score in every game,” Constantine observed.

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