Suzhou, China: Indian National Team Head Coach Stephen Constantine maintained 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.”
“It was a very exciting match. Both teams tried to score. Of course, China had more possession and opportunities and we had expected this.”
“We came here to give a good performance and 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,” he added.
“Congratulations to all the players. Five of them who ended the game are U-23 players and two who started were U-23 players as well. That’s my policy – to develop young players and give them more opportunities,” he maintained.
“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,” Constantine certified.
“Sandesh Jhingan is a fighter. He puts his body on the line and gave everything on the pitch as all the other boys do too. Playing for India is the best possible situation and we appreciate that,” the coach quipped.
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,” he said.