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Recent success of Men's Football has come through hard work and methodical planning: coach Shanmugam Venkatesh

ANI | Updated: Apr 17, 2019 16:45 IST

New Delhi [India], Apr 17 (ANI): Shanmugam Venkatesh, the India senior Football Men's team assistant coach on Wednesday said that the recent success for the football team has come through its hard work and methodical planning. 
The Indian football has boomed over the past few years enabling the team to climb over 70 places in the FIFA World rankings.
"Our team has improved a lot. But all of that that has only come through hard work, and methodical planning," All India Football Federation (AIFF) quoted Venkatesh as saying.
Venkatesh is highly regarded in the dressing room both as a player and coach but the assistant coach said that it is unfair to compare players from different generations.
“It is unfair to compare the quality of players from different generations. I believe that quality is always there, and will always be there. But what makes the difference is how you groom the quality and help the footballer maximise his performance on match days,” Venkatesh said.
“At the end of the day, you still have 23 of the best players from your country in the squad. It does not matter which era we are playing in. Rather, what is more, important is how we, as the support staff, are preparing them for the matches,” he added.
Venkatesh started his international career in the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok against Japan which the team lost 0-1. However, the assistant coach believes that India did not use to fare well in the international fixtures at that time due to the lack of exposure.
"You look at the current side, and you can clearly see that they go into an International match with the mentality that they are no less than their opponents, back during our playing days we would merely have a camp before any big tournament, and once we were on the pitch, we would be unsure of what to expect,” Venkatesh said.
India has played quality sides like China, Jordan, Oman in friendly matches and Venkatesh believes that playing teams like these have helped the side to gain more competitive spirit.
"Playing sides like China, Jordan, Oman, Puerto Rico, St Kitts & Nevis, New Zealand, Kenya readied the players to face top International matches, a fact that helped them put up a competitive front at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, earlier this year,” Venkatesh said.
Venkatesh also said that the media has played a pivotal role in providing the Indian Football team with much-needed exposure.
“Everything you do on and off the pitch is under scrutiny these days. Earlier, if the team was playing abroad, nobody in the country would even know about it,” he continued. “But now, all the attention is on the national team, which is a good thing. The players know that the whole country is watching them and that in itself is a great motivating factor," he said.
FIFA released their latest rankings earlier this month and the Indian team was able to climb up two places to reach the 101st position. (ANI)

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