Updated: Jan 11, 2019 22:47 IST
Abu Dhabi [UAE], Jan 11 (ANI): Former Indian football team coach Savio Medeira believes that Indian team is the most-hard working team in the ongoing AFC Asian Cup.
“We may be a bit weaker than other teams in terms of technique. But the sheer effort these players put in, I don’t think any other team works that hard. It’s visible the players have been running their socks off on the pitch,” AIFF quoted Medeira, as saying.
India, who kick-started their tournament with a 4-1 victory over Thailand, lost their second match 0-2 against the UAE. The former coach, however, asserted that Indians are playing positive football, which is an encouraging sign for them.
“India have been playing positive football. Not just in these two matches (in the AFC Asian Cup), but also in the friendlies against China, Jordan, and Oman. Although it was a loss yesterday (January 10) against UAE, the encouraging sign was that they created so many chances,” he said.
“We need to be a bit sharper and more focused inside the box, and put away the chances which we get,” he added.
India are the second youngest team in the tournament after Vietnam, and youngsters like Anirudh Thapa and Ashique Kuruniyan have impressed one and all with their performances. Medeira praised the development that the two youngsters have been going through.
“We have kept a track of both Thapa and Ashique for a couple of years. I think that both of them are good prospects for India. I hope they can keep their head on their shoulders and keep playing for both club and country for a long time,” he said.
“It’s only with the encouragement of the seniors that the juniors can march forward. So we can see the seniors are really trying to mould the youngsters. With so many foreign players coming in, I would say that the players’ confidence and awareness have grown, and they need to stay on top,” expressed Medeira.
“Whether the performance is good or bad, the first thing that they ask is about the coach. In India’s case, the performances have mostly been good. So Constantine needs to be credited. Credit also goes to the coaching staffs, who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes,” he added.
India are slated to play their next match of the tournament against Bahrain on January 14 and a victory in the clash will ensure them a spot in the pre-quarterfinal round. (ANI)