Stephen Constantine answers critics and says India is not 'Barcelona'
India has been clubbed with hosts UAE, Bahrain and Thailand in Group 'A' of the 2019 Asian Cup.
Indian National Football team coach Stephen Constantine lashed out at critics during a press conference saying that there is not a single reason to criticise the team and the coach or the way the national players are playing football. The Englishman was put under the radar after their loss to Kyrgyzstan in the Asian Cup Qualifiers. When he was asked about his views regarding the experience, he gave a strong reply.
During the press conference, he said, “Who in the right mind, can complain about the National Team or the coach? If you have a complaint, it’s because you don’t like me or you don’t like the way we play football. Apart from Germany, during the 13-game unbeaten period, there was no other team in the form that we were. So how can you, in the right state of mind, say that you don’t like the coach or should he leave?”
India has been impressive in the last 2-3 years since Stephen Constantine took charge. During his reign, the ‘Blue Tigers’ have shown a steep rise in the FIFA rankings and are currently at the 97th spot. Apart from that, they qualified for the 2019 Asian Cup and also won a SAFF Championship title.
India is scheduled to play a 4-nation Intercontinental Cup as a preparation ahead of the Asian Cup next year. Chinese Taipei, New Zealand and Kenya will feature in the meet which begins on June 1 at the Mumbai Football Arena. Stephen Constantine is looking forward to the tournament as he feels playing against the visiting teams will help them a lot ahead of the mega event in January 2019.
“New Zealand has a strong team; Chinese Taipei has improved in the last 4-5 months under Gary White. The Kenyan’s will be strong and physical; any team coming from Africa will be a challenge for us. We need these games going forward, this is an important tournament,” said Constantine.