Former India footballer I.M. Vijayan lauded team head coach Stephen Constantine’s move of including six Under-23 footballers for the Asian Cup qualifier against Macau on September 5.
The 48-year-old believes Constantine is following Germany coach Joachim Low’s path. “Look at the last edition of the FIFA Confederations Cup and you will get your answer. Low preferred a team with an average age of 24 years and they went on to win the tournament. Constantine is walking on the same path,” Vijayan told AIFF. Germany beat Chile 1-0 to clinch the title.
Salam Ranjan Singh, Manvir Singh, Nikhil Poojary, Germanpreet Singh, Jerry Lalrinzuala and Anirudh Thapa are the rookies picked for the senior team.
India recently won 10 games in a row, but Vijayan advised the team not to rest on their laurels. “Mark my words, the 9 consecutive victories (including the win in the unofficial match against Bhutan) is bound to make the rival team a bit concerned. But the danger stays that in such a situation, the team tends to get a bit carried away and be complacent. In that case, you will dig your own grave.”
But he reiterated his praise on Constantine, stamping him as a coach who wants to fight and win. “I need not describe it, as the results are visible in front of everyone. From my experience of playing under him, I can say that his ideology is simple — go, fight and win.”
“He is someone who can make you win and it’s a quality that not all coaches possess. He studies his players minutely to know their limitations and skill set, and eventually churns the best out of a player. You need to credit him for this,” Vijayan added.