High flying India not taking eye off the ball, says Jackichand

“This (tri-nation) football series is of huge importance for us as. I feel it’s the perfect dress rehearsal before we take on Macau in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifier,” said the Indian winger.

Jackichand Singh (C) during a training session with the Indian football team.   -  AIFF

Indian football winger Jackichand Singh looks at the Hero Tri-Nation Football Series 2017 as an ideal preparation for the side ahead of the forthcoming AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Macau on September 5

“This football series is of huge importance for us as. I feel it’s the perfect dress rehearsal before we take on Macau in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifier,” he maintained at a media interaction prior to Indian National Team’s practice session at the Mumbai Football Arena on Thursday.

The nippy Manipuri hailed the 'perfect team effort' behind India’s successful run in international football where it has won the 13 of the last 15 matches (including the unofficial match against Bhutan).

"We have struck the right chord at the right time. A team doesn't comprise of just the players who play on the pitch but the entire support staff -- be it the physio, the team trainer, the equipment manager, the masseur – everyone plays their part.

"We can't afford to be complacent till we hit the bull's eye. We believe in taking one match at a time and we'll continue to do so. We are getting closer to our dream with each game and we can’t rest till we clinch the ticket to UAE,” he said.

Referring to competition within the squad, Jackichand stated, "There is a healthy competition amongst the players and that helps us to get into the right shape at the right time.

“At the end of the day, it’s the coach who will take a call but we have to push ourselves to achieve more."

Jackichand also lavished huge praise on the youngsters in the team. The present squad training in Mumbai has 10 faces from India’s U-23 AFC Cup campaign where India put up a spirited show.

“The youngsters are perfectly fitting into the setup. We are a happy family,” Jackichand smiled.

"We complement each other. In the national team setup, you have to be on your toes throughout. In fact, the youngsters keep the senior players on their toes. At the same time, they get to learn from the best in business.”

Jackichand's solitary goal in national colours came at the Mumbai football arena against Puerto Rico last September.

“The memory has been wonderful. I have a special connection with Mumbai. I can never forget this ground as my first International goal came here,” he reminisced about the victory against Puerto Rico.

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