The AIFF: Against the backdrop of the FIFA U17 World Cup India 2017 the fact that the Senior National Team is currently practicing in Mumbai in preparation for the crucial AFC Asian Cup Qualifier against Macau has almost gone unnoticed.
India, unbeaten in the three matches in the Qualifiers need a victory against Macau to seal a berth in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 which National Coach Stephen Constantine feels will be “historic.”
“The game against Macau in Bengaluru on 11th (October 11, 2017) is one of the most important games in our history for a long time. If we are able to win it and qualify for the Asian Cup, I think it will be an achievement,” Constantine said to media persons in Mumbai.
“The key behind the success is the work,” Constantine stated. “The support from the Mr. Patel and Mr. Das has been exceptional. My purpose has always been to build a team for the future. That’s how I think and that’s what I do as I think that’s the manner we can sustain the momentum,” the Coash maintained.
“We have quite a strong core at the moment. If someone goes out because of an injury, the other one can come in and there isn’t much loss in quality,” Constantine stressed, only to add: “But it takes time.”
“We are focussed on the match in Bengaluru. It’s in our hands, or should I say our feet, and we are aware of the type of Football which Macau will try to play. As they did at home, they may try to park the bus and we need to be patient, continue doing the hard work and find a way to unlock them.”
India are at present on top of Group A in the qualifiers with 9 points from the three matches played.
“The boys know the importance of the game. They stay aware of what it means for them and Indian Football overall.
Constantine also wished the Indian U-17 National Team luck for the forthcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017. “My best wishes to the Coach and players. We are in a tough group and we wish them good luck,” he said.
“Technically and tactically there isn’t going to be much of a difference between the Teams which means that any team can beat anyone. At this level kids will play brilliantly one day but the next day they may not be that much impressive. I don’t want to go into predictions but I want India to do well and qualify from the group,” he pronounced.