Indian national coach Stephen Constantine will face Nepal tomorrow in his first assignment with the Indian national team since taking over the job for a second time.
Stephen, who has also coached Nepal in the past, is looking forward to the new challenge in India. The Englishman coached the Indian team from 2002 to 2005 and he knows Indian football very well.
“I’m humbled that they decided to bring me to India, there were quite a lot of names in for the job,” Stephen told in an exclusive interview with FIFA.com.
“I’m really very excited. There is a big difference in terms of organisation and facilities, they’re better than they were. I think the Indian Super League (ISL) has made a huge improvement to the marketing and everything else that revolves around football. I’m very excited to be back. We’ll do everything we can to get past this very difficult opponent.”
“I think in ten years, a lot has changed, but there’s still a lot that needs to be fixed,” Stephen continued. “You have to prepare yourself for success, it doesn’t just come. I don’t know if we’ve done enough in the past ten years to get the success that we want. India has a bright future, the boss says we’re a huge giant. That’s great, but what have we done to prepare to be successful? We’re 171st (in the latest FIFA World Ranking), and I think that says it all.”
“For me we need to look forwards,” Stephen added. “Whatever has happened in the past has happened. We need to change a few things. I believe I have the support from the AIFF to make those changes and I’m very optimistic that we won’t be where we are now in a couple of years.”
India will take on Nepal in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2019 AFC Asian Cup Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 1 on May 12 (first leg at Guwahati) and 17 (second leg at Kathmandu).