East Bengal striker Robin Singh was working out strenuously on Tuesday, raring to get back in contention for a place in the national squad. The Indian football team, currently ranked at 132 on the Fifa charts, will face 174-ranked Cambodia in Phnom Penh on March 22 in their their upcoming friendly. After that, they will take on 172-ranked Myanmar in AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers on 28 March.
Matching strides in the 15-strong band of trainees assembled at the Andheri Sports Complex, Robin, who had been out with a knee injury for seven months last year before getting into his scoring boots early this year, stated he was happy to be back among the 31 probables announced recently by coach Stephen Constantine.
“It’s a proud moment to be back in contention to wear India colours,” said Robin. “Hopefully the coach gives me the nod and I will be back in India colours.”
India’s other opponents in Group A of the AFC Cup competition include Kyrgyzstan and Macau, the former ranked at 125 while the latter at 186 on the Fifa charts.
Robin refused to concede that India were slotted in a relatively easy group. “We are in a group which everyone says is easy, but it depends on who plays better on that day. Everyone out there wants to qualify and so are we,” he said.
India will play host to Kyrgyzstan in June before playing away against Macau in September in the first leg of the competition.
When asked about his chances of making the first squad considering the strength upfront provided by the established strikers Sunil Chettri and Jeje Lalpekhlua, Robin said, “Jeje and Sunil are great strikers and I am just happy to be among them.”