Indian head coach Stephen Constantine while addressing media after the opening Asian Cup match between India and Thailand on Sunday (Image courtesy Indian Football Team Twitter)
Indian head coach Stephen Constantine while addressing media after the opening Asian Cup match between India and Thailand on Sunday (Image courtesy Indian Football Team Twitter)

Asian Cup: Football coach asks team to play down emotions post Thailand victory

ANI | Updated: Jan 06, 2019 23:25 IST

Abu Dhabi [UAE], Jan 6 (ANI): The Indian national football team put up a superb performance to win their opening match of the ongoing Asian Cup over Thailand but the head coach Stephen Constantine wants players to play down their emotions.
The coach, while praising the team for their efforts, said that they have still got two more matches before qualifying from the group stage and they need to keep themselves focused.
"We try to win every match that we play in. We don't go into a match expecting to win 4-1 or 5-1. However, we are not trying to get carried away with the emotion. We still have two games left and we still need another two points to qualify from the group stages. After we have qualified, we can get a little bit excited but our primary job is still to qualify out of the group stages," AIFF quoted Constantine, as saying.
"It is a cliche as it is just another match for us. It is another win that we wanted and have got in the AFC Asian Cup. Tomorrow morning, we train again," he added.
While talking about India's performance against Thailand, Constantine said that the team converted their chances well in the match adding that they are capable bunch of players.
"We gave a good testament of ourselves against Thailand and we are a young side that is capable of a lot many things. People got a taste of what we can do, today. The main thing was to make the most of our chances and that we did today. I am happy that we are converting from the chances that we are making," Constantine said.
"We do start a little slow as the first 15-20 minutes can be a little nervous. It was important to not concede a goal in those minutes and that is what we did," Constantine concluded.
Indian skipper Sunil Chhetri was the hero of the match who struck twice to put his team in a strong position. The striker, however, preferred to compliment the performance of the players as a unit.
"I can think about my goals some ten years later. At the moment, we need to focus. The goals need to come and it just doesn't matter who scores. You can see the jubilation and happiness whenever someone scores. I am so happy for the boys. Every one of them ran and defended for their lives," Chhetri said.
"It's a tough pool when we started thinking, we felt that all the others were more experienced and better than us. But the manner the boys fought, it shows a lot of character. I have said this before, we are a very difficult team to play against. We may not be the most technical team but we will fight till the end, and that's what the boys showed," he maintained.

"Considering the bigger picture, this is a good but small start. But I'll talk about just this game - it was bloody brilliant to be a part of the way my team went about things. And it's even more special knowing we made a country happy, even if it is only for a day," Chhetri tweeted.
India defeated Thailand 4-1 in their opening match of the Asian Cup to kick-start the tournament with a bang. They will take on hosts UAE in their second match of the tournament which is slated to be held on January 10. (ANI)

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