‘Jump in FIFA rankings no fluke’

India is bracing up to face Macau in a crucial 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers on September 5 and, under Stephen Constantine, seem confident of getting the work done as it heads into the fixture on the back of winning ninenine international matches on the trot.

Coach Stephen Constantine is in his second stint with the Indian national team.   -  PTI

India goalkeeper Subrata Paul says the national team’s rise to 96 in FIFA rankings has not happened by fluke.

India is bracing up to face Macau in a crucial 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers on September 5 and, under Stephen Constantine, seem confident of getting the work done.

India has won nine international matches, including an unofficial game against Bhutan, on the trot.

‘Constantine is walking on Low’s path’

“He (Constantine) has been in charge for almost 30 months now and if you look back at the journey, as far as FIFA rankings are concerned he has delivered what no other coach in India has been able to achieve so far. No coach has been able to make us win nine on the trot; no coach has been able to take us from 173 to 96 in the FIFA rankings. And none happened by fluke,” Paul said.

Praising the chief coach, who is in his second stint with the team, Paul said Constantine is leading a revolution.

“You can never win nine at a stretch by fluke, you can never jump 77 places in FIFA rankings by fluke. We have achieved all of that under Constantine. Even as I need to mention the efforts put in by all the support staff, the coach will always get the lion’s share of the credit, and rightly.

“Moreover, he has debuted 35 youngsters so far, many of whom will hold the fort for the national team for the next few years. In that sense, he has already created the supply line. He has brought in a revolution, a total change in Indian football,” Paul said.

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