Stephen Constantine

New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS) Despite the cold conditions in Thimpu, national football coach Stephen Constantine on Friday said team has settled down quite well in the conditions.

The Indian team will play Bhutan in an unofficial away practice game on Saturday after the proposed tour of the United States of America did not materialise.

“We have settled down quite well. The weather has not been too bad but the altitude is a little bit of an issue as it takes a few days to get used too. But we are coping well so far,” Constantine said.

“The first two days we did double sessions but are having single sessions now as the game approaches,” he added.

The team, devoid of Players from Bengaluru FC and East Bengal who were not released by the Clubs for the pre-season training Camp here, has opened the doors for many a youngster who has been knocking at the door for long.

“All games are important when you represent your Country. Although it is an unofficial Friendly where FIFA points won’t be counted, it is an opportunity for Players to show what they can do,” Constantine mentioned.

Since taking over in his second stint as Coach, Constantine in an effort to ‘widen the pool of Players’ has handed International debut to 28 Players.

“Bhutan are a Team that are slowly but surely improving. The fact they are still in with a chance to make the final stages of the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers is a testament to that,” he said.

“We have all played on the artificial surface so that should not be an issue. We have been training on the same pitch for the last few days. I repeat that the altitude could be an issue although after spending some 4-5 days in Bhutan, I hope it won’t affect us too much,” he added.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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