Lyngdoh: ‘We have a lot to learn, a lot to progress’

After joining the national camp in Mumbai for the Asian AFC Cup Qualifier, Bengaluru FC playmaker and schemer for India, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, talks about the targets ahead for the national squad under Stephen Constantine.

Lyngdoh: ‘The right preparation is to gel as a team, the 11 who are going to play and the guys (on the bench) who will come out, need to understand each other’   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Eugeneson Lyngdoh is a vital link in the chain for every team he represents. Bengaluru FC playmaker and schemer for India, he took a break after the Federation Cup in Cuttack and joined the national camp for the Asian AFC Cup Qualifier, in progress at the Mumbai Football Arena.

Two training sessions later, he spoke about the targets ahead for the national squad under Stephen Constantine. A friendly against Nepal next week here is the first stage of preparation for tougher contest ahead against Krgyz Republic in Bengaluru. Excerpts from a chat with the India midfielder:

On memories of his first international against Nepal (World Cup Qualifier 2015) and journey with India till now:

A: I remember standing with the team for the national anthem and felt as if I achieved something. The journey has always been tough. We have had ups and downs, games where we played badly, other games which went off very well.

On the mood within the national squad, and whether a friendly against Nepal (replacement for Lebanon) is the right preparation:

A: The right preparation is to gel as a team, the 11 who are going to play and the guys (on the bench) who will come out, need to understand each other. The mood is great, players are excited. The Krgyz Rebpublic match (Asian Cup Qualifier 2019) is going to be crucial.

On adjusting to different coaching styles between club and country and the difference playing for B FC and India:

A: As a professional, it is our duty to be able to adapt. At BFC, we try to play with the ball and focus on possession. For India, we try to take control and be aggressive from the start.

On realisation in players that India, having broken into the FIFA top 100 ranking, is no longer the underdog:

A: This is just the start. We have a lot to learn, a lot to progress. There are others things ahead of us. We wish to be among the elite and I don’t see why we can’t be there.

On the effect of Sunil Chhetri’s availability for international games (supposed to miss the Nepal tie due to recovery)

A: Sunil’s presence is a big boost to the side. He has been great for the country and the club (Bengaluru FC), he get things done on the pitch and gives the players confidence.

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