Jhingan: Four-nation meet will help us test our strength

AIFF will be hosting the inaugural edition of the four-nation Intercontinental Cup, involving the host, New Zealand, South Africa and Chinese Taipei, at the Mumbai Football Arena in June.

Sandesh Jhingan playing for Kerala Blasters during the 2017-18 Indian Super League.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

 

Indian football team premier defender Sandesh Jhingan is hopeful that the upcoming four-nation tournament in June to be played here would be a good test for the side.

The AIFF will be hosting the inaugural edition of the four-nation Intercontinental Cup to be played at the Mumbai Football Arena from June 1 to 10.

Apart from India, South Africa, New Zealand and Chinese Taipei will take part in the Quadrangular tourney.

“That (the Intercontinental Cup) is really good. Our main priority is to be ready for the Asian Cup and it starts in January. This tournament, along with the teams that are coming in including New Zealand, will be a very good test for us,” said the 24-year-old defender.

“The more better teams you play, the better you get. It (the tournament) is the right opportunity to test ourselves. We never come across teams like these quite often -- New Zealand, South Africa, they are going to play a different kind of football,” Jhingan said.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a fan-engagement activity organised by Star Sports late last night.

“Of course, it will be good preparation ahead of Asian Cup (next year). I believe that they (South Africa, New Zealand) are good sides and I believe we need to play good teams,” he added.

Jhingan said that apart from maintaining peak fitness, he is also aiming to improve on the technical and tactical side of his game.

“I am working on a lot of things. I need to improve upon my fitness and that’s the priority. I am still learning, I am just 24. The technical and tactical side, all areas I have to improve and I am going to keep improving,” he added.

Jhingan also revealed that while he is a big Manchester United fan, his elder brother follows rival club Arsenal.

“I follow Manchester United, my elder brother is a Arsenal fan and there is rivalry among the house, but I just love Man U and the love gets better and better,” he signed off.

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