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India coach Stephen Constantine: The tie is far from over

India coach Stephen Constantine
India coach Stephen Constantine

Picture courtesy: AIFF Media

Indian national coach Stephen Constantine stressed that he doesn’t put in “players for the sake of putting them in.”

Constantine was peaking at the post-match press conference after India’s facile 2-0 victory over Nepal in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2019 AFC Asian Cup Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 1.

When I put in players I put them in for a reason. I put them in as they have something to offer. I never put them in for the sake of putting them in,” he said referring to fielding seven debutants for India.

Debutant Eugeneson Lyngdoh, sitting next added: “I need to thank the coach for the confidence he showed in me. I am getting to learn new things from him every day.”

“We have gelled very fast as an unit. We are working hard and we will.”

Constantine mentioned about the support from his support staff without whom “it would not have been possible” to make an impression within six days.

The players have surely worked hard. But what doesn’t understand in football is the amount of preparation which goes into a match,” he stated.

The backroom staff deserves every bit of the credit. Right from my Assistant Coach Venky (Venkatesh) to my physio Gigi George to Team Doctor Kiran (Kulkarni), everyone have made their contribution.”

“My Equipment Manager Sanjay (Dhyani), Masseur Liaqat (Ali), Team Manager Srinivas, Video Analyst Shankar are real assets. And off course, Rogerio is always there doing that extra bit for us to achieve gory,” Constantine said in one breath.

“In football you do not win by yourself. You win as a team.”

The tie is far from over,” he further pronounced. “I am never pleased as a coach. I had told my boys to go, relax and enjoy the game. We did have our chances in the first half too.”

“My intention is to build a team for the future which can serve Indian football for the next five-six years. The last time I was here, we tried to do the same and we will do the same even this time,” he concluded.

The Indian national team flies to Kathmandu on March 14.

(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)