Fri, 19 Apr 2019

Shuzhou [China], Oct 13 (ANI): Indian National Team head coach Stephen Constantine on Saturday maintained that his team has become "very difficult one to beat."

Speaking at the official post-match press conference, Constantine said, "We have shown in the last four years that we are a very difficult team to beat. We may not have the quality which some of the other teams in Asia have. But I stand for my team physically and competitively against any team in Asia. The boys were outstanding today."

While Constantine accepted that China had more possession and opportunities than the Blue Tigers, something he had expected, the Indian head coach said that his side "came here to give a good performance" adding that "the main thing for us was to get used to the standard of Football which we would face in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019."

"Congratulations to all the players. Five of them are U-23 players; two of the starters were U-23 players as well. That's my policy - to develop young players and give them more opportunities," he maintained.

Speaking on the performances of goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Constantine said, "I feel Gurpreet (Singh Sandhu) is an outstanding talent. He was three years in Norway and definitely played his role today in keeping a clean sheet for us."

The former Millwall FC coach heaped word of praise for centre-back Sandesh Jhingan, saying "Jhingan is a fighter. He puts his boy on the line and gave everything on the pitch as all the other boys to too. Playing for India is the best possible situation and we appreciate that."

Referring to India's game plan, informed that the plan was to keep it "tight."

"Our shape was very compact. The distance between the defenders and the midfielders was tight. We didn't allow much space to our rivals," Constantine stated.

In the first match between the two Asian neighbours since 1997, a resolute Indian defence warded off a blunt Chinese attack to hold them to a 0-0 draw. (ANI)

Sign up for China News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!