THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Gouramangi Singh: This is a new India for sure

Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh

The Indian national team has won its second match at the 2012 Nehru Cup with a convincing 3-0 win against the Maldives yesterday.

The Nehru Cup is the start of a new chapter for the Indian team under new coach Wim Koevermans and a new look squad. Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh is one of the senior players in the Indian team nowadays and he has also become the backbone of the Indian defence since the likes of Mahesh Gawli, Deepak Kumar Mondal, Samir Naik and company retired from international duty.

The Indian team had a good start with two wins against Syria (2-1 | VIDEO) and the Maldives (3-0 | VIDEO), but Mangi stays focused on the upcoming challenges in the tournament.

“The three points against Syria were very important for us. A win in the first match of any Tournament is always a morale booster,” Mangi told in an interview with AIFF Media. “We combined well against Maldives but we cannot afford to bask in its glory. The focus has already shifted to our next match against Nepal. We are not thinking too far ahead.”

“We are just two matches old under a philosophy and system brought in by our coach Wim Koevermans. It has been just three weeks that we have been together,” the 26-year-old defender said. “But I feel we have shown glimpses of what we are trying to do. This is a ‘New India’ for sure. The little success we have got so far is because every member of the team is giving his best for the cause. It’s pertinent that we recognise the contributions of the coaching staff, the support staff and the fans.”

Asked about the stand out performers so far, the star defender said: “For a moment, let’s leave aside the seniors – Sunil Chhetri, Rahim Nabi, Mehtab Hosain, Subrata Pal and myself – we have been talked about a lot. I feel it’s time to focus on someone like Francis Fernandes or a Lenny Rodrigues. They are playing so well. Take Francis’s cross to Sunil for example. It was top class – wasn’t it? Robin Singh complemented Sunil very well after he was brought in. It’s time these youngsters hog the limelight.”

“This phase is an emotional transition for someone like me – as I am no more a junior but have all of a sudden become a senior player, that too at 26. The responsibility obviously, has increased,” Mangi added.

“Sunil has been in exceptional form and has been scoring at those important phases. That’s what we need from him,” Mangi told when asked about Sunil Chhetri’s tremendous form. “He is a great guy to have you in your side. He can lift up the spirits very fast. We share a great rapport.”

Talking about his new partner Raju Eknath Gaikwad in central defence, Mangi stated: “He is one of the best centre backs who have come up the ranks. After Mahesh Gawli, he is the pick of the lot. He echoes a lot of confidence in defence and leads the pack of a very talented new generation which will rule Indian football in the next decade.”

“Mahesh Gawli has always stayed my idol as a stopper back and I grew up watching him. I miss him very much as much I miss Baichung Bhutia and others,” he added.

Asked on a statment on new India coach Wim Koevermans, he said: “He is a very positive man. He has received a warm welcome from the players and is trying to instill a new philosophy into the team. We are learning a lot under him.”

“This is the beginning of a new era. There are better days to come and this unit has it in them to go the distance,” Mangi signed off.

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