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Thangboi Singto: I-League is more about Indian footballers

Thangboi Singto

Thangboi Singto

Thangboi Singto is perhaps the best example of an Indian coach repaying the faith shown on him.

In a freewheeling interview to AIFF Media, the Shillong Lajong FC gaffer, who is the only Indian coach in the top-four of the Airtel I-League (as on February 24, 2014), spoke on Lajong’s chances, the new breed of Indian players, the fanbase and much more.


You are the only Indian coach among the top four teams in the Airtel I-League at the moment. How do you react?
I am as good as my team. It’s great to see Shillong Lajong FC in a good position at the moment. However some tough matches remain. We need to refocus and keep up a consistent performance. It will be only special if we can maintain this same position at the end of the league.

What’s the secret of your consistent run as you don’t have big names in the ranks sans the foreign recruits?
Unity, common belief, mutual respect, hard work and an ambition to give the best and do well stay strength. It is also heartening to see young Indian boys doing well. Airtel I-League is about more about Indian players than foreign recruits. It speaks of the talent in the pipeline.

What has clicked for you so far?
Our form in away-matches has improved. Also the undying support of the Lajong faithfuls has given us a boost. Not to forget the constant help and guidance of the management and the support staff.

Do you think your location gives you an advantage over your opponents in home matches?
I won’t say so. We also need to travel to locations which are very challenging in terms of distance, climatic conditions and other aspects. I feel, it’s the same for all Airtel I-League clubs. But as professionals we are expected to perform well both at home and away.

Where would you be looking on from here? Do you believe you have a chance to even winning the silverware?
It’s too early to say. Realistically we would want to finish in the top-seven. Anything above that will be a big achievement.

How big a role has the strong home fan base played in your success?
Football needs its fans to survive, strive better, to be on the toes and bring popularity and value to every club. They are I would say the backbone of clubs to grow bigger and be more marketable. They are just invaluable. Supporters are the team behind the team.

(Interview & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)