India coach Stephen Constantine has said that Thailand are a not a team to be underestimated as they ready to face the Southeast Asian giants in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 on Sunday.
India are set to face Thailand as they open their campaign in the continental championship at the Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi on the second day of the tournament.
And Constantine believes that the Indian players should be wary of the War Elephants.
“Thailand are a very good side and they are not to be underestimated at all. We’re in no position to underestimate anybody. We are expecting a tough game” said the former Rwanda head coach.
“We have to take one game at a time We’ll give everything we have as we have continued to do in the last four years. We’ll obviously do our best to get the result that we need,” Constantine said.
However, the coach said that his team has what it takes to give a good account of themselves in their first game in the tournament.
“We think we have prepared very well for Thailand and we will find out tomorrow. I don’t think we are under pressure. What we have is the pressure to win, which is every time as we want to win for India,” he said.
“The players are really looking forward to the opening match, and so am I. We can’t wait for the game to kick off. It’s time for the show,” the coach said. “We have a really young team. I wish they perform to their abilities. I’m sure we’ll do fine.”
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) January 5, 2019
Constantine, who is on his second stint with the Blue Tigers, said that it was one of the proudest results of his career to have guided India to the Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
“Personally, it’s a proud moment for me to lead India to the Asian Cup. It has been a long difficult road which took more than three years to get here. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) believed in me and allowed me to continue,” he said.
“The 1-0 win against the Kyrgyz Republic at home was something special. Apart from that, beating Myanmar in Myanmar after 64 years was a great result for us. It was the opening game of the final qualifying round. The result gave us the confidence to go forward,” he added.
India are pooled in Group A with hosts UAE and Bahrain apart from Thailand.
(Photo credit: The-AFC.com)