Need more matches, says Indian coach Constantine

The Indian coach Stephen Constantine stressed on the need for more international matches for his boys if they are to better their performance in the coming games of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

“This team played just twice in the last 12 months and now we are in a situation where we have important games one after the other,” said Constantine after his side lost their tie against Oman at the Sree Kanteerava stadium on Thursday.

“It’s not a regular, settled team. This is my third game and we have had a lot of new guys coming in. For a team to shape up, you need time and games under your belt before you get into something like the World Cup qualifiers. And we had none. This is a team that has been forced into learning from the game and in such cases mistakes are bound to happen,” he said.

Constantine, however, seemed content with his side’s performance against the middle-eastern side. “We were ok. We made a few mistakes. And I think Oman had that little bit of quality when they had the ball and that’s something we need to work on,” he stressed.
“Oman had more possession and that’s something we had already expected. But, I still think we had done enough to get a draw. I am not sure how the was goal disallowed, but there were a few other decisions that were strange. But still, I think we did enough.

“I am proud of the boys, the way they fought and played from the start till the end. It’s really hard to play as a unit with just four days to practice, and that showed the quality of our boys,” added the Englishman, who is on his second stint with India.

Constantine’s defence had three of the four debutants India fielded on the day, which meant a lack of ordination and communication among the backline. “I did not decide anything before coming here. I had to pick 11 best players for the game, and of that four were debutants. But you cannot expect these guys to be perfect overnight. The clubs need weeks and months to shape up well and here you see these new guys step up for their nation and, according to me, do a brilliant job,” he said.

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