Indian football coach Stephen Constantine is confident of the upcoming couple of matches including the AFC Asian Cup Qualifier against the Kyrgyz Republic. But as his team retain their 100th position in June’s FIFA rankings, the Briton said he would not consider India as a big team until his team become a regular at the Asian Cup and final stages of the World Cup Qualifiers.
It was in May that the Indian football team made into the top 100 for the first time in 21 years, the upward movement was the result of away wins against Myanmar and Cambodia. This month they remain joint with Nicaragua and Kazakhstan and with no change in their 331 ranking points as they did not play any games last month.
The last time India had been in the top 100 of the rankings was back in 1996, with the 94th spot in February 1996 being the country’s best-ever ranking.
“It has taken around two years for us to build a side who I think on any given day are capable of competing against any team,” Constantine said.
” I don’t think there is any secret. It’s been a combination of hard work and self belief. When I came in, I remember mentioning that it’s a learning process as you cannot build a team within a week or a month.”
Constantine has now focussing his men on the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, which is on the top of their priority list and getting established in Asian Football.
India next play Nepal in a friendly match on Tuesday June 6th after which they play against Kyrgyzstan in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers in Bengaluru. Constantine has said of Kyrgyzstan that they are a ‘very dangerous and difficult opponent,’ and that both home and away games could be difficult.