We Need To Be Patient Against Macau : Constantine

Tuesday, 10 October 2017|AIFF Media

With India sitting pretty on top of Group A enroute to a possible qualification to the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, National Coach Stephen Constantine feels the boys need to be patient when they take on Macau in the home-leg in Bengaluru on Wednesday (October 11, 2017). In an interview, the Coach explains his concerns against Macau, the challenges which Macau will pose, the commitment of the players and much more. EXCERPTS:

How much are you concerned prior to playing Macau?

We have to take every game separately and deal the opponent with the respect they deserve. We have to move the ball around quicker and we can’t give them time to set themselves up; basically we need to open them up. I think we were a bit static in the first half of our away game (in Macau) and it helped them. We can’t afford to repeat the same mistake.

What are the challenges which Macau will pose?

They will give us different problems. We have to stay ready and will have to be cautious of not being hit on the counter. Most importantly we will have to be patient which we were not in the first half when we played away against Macau. If we get an early goal, maybe they will try to open up. It all depends on how the game goes. We have the quality and if we stay calm, we should get what we want.

How do you describe the attitude of the players?

The attitude right from the moment I arrived has been excellent. We have had some players who have fallen by the wayside as a result of a new batch coming in. The commitment and work rate has been outstanding and had it not been so, I would not have been sitting here and most importantly, Indian Football won’t be in the position which we are at the moment. Make no mistake, we make them work hard, maybe punishing at times. But the results are there for them and everyone else to see.

Take us through the journey.

At the beginning we were in a bad place, both ranking wise as well as mentally and physically. Personally I didn’t expect anything less than a struggle and I remember saying in my first press conference that things are going to get worse before they get better. But at the same time I did mention that if we manage to stay focussed on the future and be patient, then certainly we would reach a much better position.