FIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifiers: Constantine confident about good performance

Ritabrata Banerjee / 07 September 2015

India host Iran for a crucial FIFA World Cup Qualifiers match on Tuesday, 8th September at the Shree Kanteerava Stadium Bangalore. 

Speaking ahead of the big match Indian coach Stephen Constantine addressed the press and said: “They are a top side and have an excellent coach. They are where they are because of what they have done in the past. There is a great deal of respect from our side for them but it is not fear. It is eleven versus eleven game and we need to take our chances. 

“Our boys are not going to make the same mistake as they did in the past. It will be a tough game and we have to play to our strengths.”

The Britisher clarified that only a win against the mighty Iranians would be good result in favour of minnows India. He sounded confident while speaking about his team’s chances.

India’s recent performances at the international arena has been terrible in the recent times. After going down fighting against Oman, they lost to Guam and managed to draw against a weak Nepal side last week in an international friendly.

Speaking about India’s poor show, the British manager opined: “We were unlucky against Oman and against Guam we didn’t play that well but we have 3 home games and no game is easy for us but we still have a fair chance.

“The boys said that playing Iran is great and a once in a lifetime chance but I disagree. We need to play teams like these every day. We will do everything we can to justify where we are.” 





When asked about Romeo Fernandes’ chances of playing he added: “Who says he is included in the squad for the game? He is one of the 28. I haven’t seen a lot of him and that is one of the reasons I have included him to see him in training and see his work rate.

“We don’t have a league going on now and I want to see how well he can train.”

Romeo is yet to play a single game for any club after coming back to India from his loan spell with Brazilian club Atletico PR.

Robin Singh has been heavily criticised in the recent times for his poor show on the field. He has failed to score goals irrespective of being the only striker upfront in several games. 

But Constantine refused to bash the Bengaluru FC striker. On the contrary he backed his number 9 and said: “I think it’s easy to judge a player especially when you wear number nine. Everybody expects you to score a lot of goals.

“I know he hasn’t been scoring but he provides a lot more His work rate is excellent. He fights for the ball and is a nuisance for the opposition.

“With big strikers you are tempted to play it up. It is a temptation but not that we advocate. We want to keep the ball down. Sometimes when you are under pressure, it is a decent option to have.”

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