Indian football team’s chief coach Stephen Constantine Thursday said that although he was happy with the 2-0 win over Sri Lanka in the SAFF Cup opener, he expects a better performance in the coming matches. Also Read - Gambhir and Kohli's Partnership Was The Turning Point: Suresh Raina Recalls India's World Cup Win
“We need to rectify the mistakes before the next match. We started off with a good win but I am not happy with the performance. We could have scored quite a few goals more,” Constantine said. Also Read - I Stand With Everyone in India And Around The World in These Challenging Times: Sunil Chhetri
He wants the U-23 team to play smart football. Also Read - PK Banerjee: Character who carried essence of Kolkata Maidan
“We have to learn how to play more smartly. We can do much better than this. Given the fact that the players are young, you can’t expect the consistency every time. Anyway, a win is always the most important aspect of the game and we move on from here,” Constantine said.
Ashique Kuruniyan, who was adjudged as the Most Valuable Player of the Match, said: “We won, but we missed many chances. We have to be quick enough on the field to utilise those opportunities.”
“I am extremely happy to have scored my first International goal. I need to deliver more for the national team.”
Meanwhile, Constantine said there should be more players in the pipeline to put pressure on the seniors. “We have already qualified to the AFC Asian Cup and from now, we need to have more players in the pipeline so that we can put pressure on senior players to push themselves more,” he said.
“We have just preferred to stick to our ideas to provide these young boys with an opportunity to get some more international game time.”
India will take on Maldives in the final group-stage match on Sunday.