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

India coach Stephen Constantine: Records are history as every match starts afresh

Indian national team (Photo courtesy: AIFF Media)

National Coach Stephen Constantine understands that St. Kitts and Nevis would go all out when they take on India in the Hero Tri-Nation Football Series at the Mumbai Football Arena on Thursday.

A day prior to the match, Constantine isn’t much willing to read into the new Indian record which his team has achieved of winning nine matches in a row (including the unofficial match against Bhutan). Instead, in a freewheeling interview, he stresses on taking one match at a time reminding that every match starts afresh. He also speaks his mind out on the pressure on the team, the acid test and much more.


St Kitts and Nevis Head Coach Jacques Passy has already expressed his intentions of winning against India. How would you rate them as opponents?

I think he’s correct. They haven’t travelled the other side of the world to lose. We can’t afford to expect anything less than a tough fight from the Caribbean boys. They are a tough bunch and a very skilful team. At the end of the day, it’ll be a very difficult game for us.

Can we expect to see a few more boys debuting for the Senior National Team against St. Kitts and Nevis?

I have to see (smiles). Truly speaking, I’m not aware of it at this moment. We had a terrific game against Mauritius in the second half and we’d definitely be looking forward to having another positive game against St. Kitts and Nevis.

With each win, is the pressure and expectation of winning mounting on the players?

I don’t believe so. We take one game at a time. What we did, it’s history now. Every day starts afresh and we only get to look forward. As I’ve mentioned before we have a long way to go. A ticket to the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 is yet to be confirmed which is our ultimate goal.

Before the AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Macau, is the next match going to be an ‘acid test’ for your team?

Not really. We’d better treat it just like another game. It’s better to be called as the preparatory game before the Macau game – the same manner as we treated the game against Mauritius the other day.

What’ll be your message to the fans in Mumbai ahead of taking on St. Kitts and Nevis?

This is our third game in Mumbai in last two months. Right from the Puerto Rico game, the Mumbai crowd have always been behind us, cheering for us throughout the 90 minutes which have always provided us with the extra bit of energy to push our limits.

But, if you ask me now, I want the support to go one step up in the next match. You don’t know when will we play again in Mumbai, hence, better you come in numbers to support your team to the Mumbai Football Arena and I believe, is the best way to do that.

(AIFF Media)