India U-23 team have made very big steps in last two years: Constantine

| Updated: Jul 24, 2017 22:00 IST

Doha [Qatar], July 24 (ANI): Stephen Constantine has been the craftsman behind India's meteoric rise in the last couple of years and he prefers to stick to his philosophy of 'giving the boys exposure' as much as possible in the International arena. Speaking after registering a thumping 3-1 victory over Turkmenistan in the AFC Under-23 Championship qualifiers, Constantine said, "The whole objective of mine before coming to Doha was to give as many players international exposure as possible. If I'm not wrong, we've rotated the squad and not less than 18-19 players played in this tournament." On being asked how does he rate the boys' performance against some of the Asian heavyweights, he didn't hesitate to mention that he's 'extremely proud' of their performance. "We have been successful what we wanted to achieve. We gradually improved from one game to another. It was extremely pleasing to get a win in this match (against Turkmenistan)", Stephen rattled. His frustration of losing first two games in the AFC Under-23 Championship qualifiers rightly reflected from his words. Stephen stated, "As they say, we, finally, won a game in this tournament. If we evaluate, we were unlucky to lose the first one, extremely unlucky in the next game against Qatar. The boys have worked very hard and we deserved this victory." He thanked the support stuff and All India Football Federation (AIFF) for their support to achieve this win, "I'm extremely happy for the players, stuff and All India Football Federation." On being asked about the recent resurgence of India's Football, Stephen stated he's 'very happy with the things at the moment.' "We have made very big steps in the last 2 years. India are on the verge of qualifying for the AFC Asian Cup. Nonetheless, India need to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup regularly and may be for the World Cup too in the future." "We need to be regular in AFC Asian Cup, U-23 AFC Championship and other age-group tournaments as well. A lot of work to do now onward. As of now, we are enjoying this moment and we'll be looking forward to the next win", Stephen concluded. India finished their campaign at the bottom of Group C and failed to qualify after losing their initial two matches 0-2 against Qatar and 0-1 against Syria.(ANI)