Ready for a fight, says Constantine

Indian coach Stephen Constantine said that his side was ready for the ‘fight’ when they take on Oman in the opening game of their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers at the Sree Kanteerava stadium here on Thursday.

“From the first second of the match we will fight. We will press, we will push and make it as difficult as we can in every aspect of the game,” said the Englishman addressing the media on the eve of the tie.

“We have a togetherness going into the game. We have learned a lot about each other going through those Army drills. It has helped in building a good team spirit and we are going to need this going forward.”

Talking about match day pressure, Constantine said that his side would relish the moment of playing for the country and will not worry much about the opponent. “I think you have pressure any time you play for your country. Whether you're playing Oman or Nepal. It doesn't make a difference. I think the pressure is on Oman to win this game and we would like to make the most of that situation,” he opined.

Indian spearhead Sunil Chhetri said the boys were raring to go. “Everybody is optimistic. There are a lot of players who haven't played a match of this magnitude before.

Everybody is free in his mind. A lot of the players are new. It's good in a way because there are no pre-conceived notions of what we're going to face. That should work to our advantage,” he said.

Chhetri had a quiet season as he could manage only two goals in his 20 I-league appearances. But the Indian vice-captain believed that it was just a phase and he would be back on the scoring charts soon.

“It bothers me to be honest. If I talk about stats, I never had a season where I scored just two goals in the league but I was happy that I was contributing in every other way that I could. I was coming back and helping my team and being defensively more active. If not for all of us working together we wouldn’t have had a chance of winning the league and we almost won the league,” he said.

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