India coach Stephen Constantine says game plan will vary for Kyrgyz from Nepal | football | Hindustan Times
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India coach Stephen Constantine says game plan will vary for Kyrgyz from Nepal

India football coach Stephen Constantine said tactics for Asian Cup qualifier against Kyrgyz Republic will be totally different from strategy for the 2-0 friendly win over Nepal.

football Updated: Jun 07, 2017 09:42 IST
Stephen Constantine is the head coach of the India football team.
Stephen Constantine is the head coach of the India football team.(HT Photo)

India dominated their game against Nepal ahead of their Asian Cup qualifier against Kyrgyz Republic but head coach Stephen Constantine says the team’s approach and output will be different from the international friendly on Tuesday.

“It will be a completely different game and atmosphere. When it’s an AFC qualifier or World Cup fixture the game takes on a life of its own. We will be quite different next week,” Constantine told a post-match media conference after the 2-0 victory.

READ | India down Nepal in international friendly, warm up for Asian Cup qualifier

India beat Nepal courtesy a left-footed volley from central defender Sandesh Jhingan and a composed finish from forward Jeje Lalpekhlua but were wasteful in front of goal.

“It was a good lesson for us today. We dominated but didn’t put away all the chances presented to us and these games help improve on those,” said Constantine.

“We were good in patches but there are areas where we can improve. We will work on those in the next week, so that we can perform better against Kyrgyz Republic,” he added.

Asked if India were better prepared for the qualifier after the friendly against Nepal, Constantine felt these games are important to give younger players a chance, but the nature of the competition should put in context.

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“We need these friendly games. They are very important for us in giving opportunities to players who have not played for the national team. They help us get back into rhythm. But it was a friendly international and you have to take that in its context,” said the India coach, who gave 19-year-old Jerry Lalzinzuala his first cap on Tuesday.

India’s victory over Nepal was the seventh consecutive for the Blue Tigers. Constantine said these victories would be satisfying only if India qualify for the Asian Cup.

“We are on the right track but we haven’t achieved anything yet. The seven wins are great but we need another 2-3 wins to get to the Asian Cup,” he said.

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Robin Singh missed several chances but Constantine, in his second stint as India coach, said his halftime substitution was pre-planned and not a reflection of his poor performance.

“Robin is a fighter; he will give you everything he has for every minute on the pitch. On another day he could have scored a hattrick. It didn’t happen for him. But I was always going to change players around, and he was always going to be one of the starting eleven to come off,” said the 54-year old, who made six substitutions against Nepal.

Udanta Singh and CK Vineeth will not be available for the game for the Kyrgyz game in Bengaluru next week due to injury, he added.