It's time India consistently raise levels to become an Asian force, says Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
Consistency is the key in the development of anything, said Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. India's and Bengaluru FC's no.1 goalkeeper, who recently signed up as a PUMA athlete, was excited about the future of the Indian National team and says he has thoroughly enjoyed his time back in India, playing for Bengaluru FC.
In an interaction with Sportskeeda recently, Gurpreet shed light on a terrific season for him, as he won his first ISL title with Bengaluru FC when the Blues beat FC Goa 1-0 in the final at the Mumbai Football Arena.
Gurpreet talks about the impression that new India coach Igor Stimac has created, about his aims for next season, and what India need to do to improve and consistently be a force at the Asian level.
Here are excerpts:
What are your first impressions of the new India coach Igor Stimac?
He is a very professional coach, knows what he wants from the players and shows them how to enhance their game and play in the system that he wants us to play.
What do you think India needs to do to improve and consistently be a force in Asia?
I think your answer is in the question. Consistency is key in every single thing's development. We have raised our level in the past four years and now its time to raise the levels again.
How have you found the two seasons in Bangalore after making the move back from Europe?
My two years with BFC have been amazing. I never could have imagined to have been able to win two trophies in two years. I am happy here.
After the Asian Cup 2019, how difficult was it to reset and come back for the ISL?
It was painful, to be honest, to forget how close we had got to qualify out of the group but as professionals, we need to focus on what comes next and prepare for it and that is what we did.
What were the emotions of winning the ISL this season after coming so close last season?
(Chuckles) The same feeling that Liverpool players must have got after winning the UEFA Champions League after losing the final last year!
What was the biggest aspect in your game you improved on during your stint in Europe?
You've got some club mates in the national team as well, like Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh and now Rahul Bheke. Does that help in any way?
For sure they are familiar faces but it really doesn’t make a big difference because all the other players are also very close to me just like my fellow BFC players are.
What is your aim for the next season with Bengaluru FC and India?
With BFC, we really hope to do well in the AFC Cup and try to have a shot at getting to the knockouts and with the National Team, I would just want to get better and better and make sure I contribute in any way possible for the upcoming challenges.
You've worked with two new goalkeeping coaches this season, in Javi Pinillos (at Bengaluru FC) and Tomislav Rogic (Indian National Team). How have they helped you improve?
I think Javi is someone who is very experienced and has attention to detail and helps me improve those small details that I might not see and with Tomislav its been great because training with him reminds me of the trainings I had back in Norway.
Does it help you that you have Amrinder Singh to keep you on your toes when you're with the National Team?
For sure, I am a fan of his goalkeeping ability. If he is not pushing me and Ii am not pushing him, we won't get any better. It goes both ways.