As the Blue Tigers are preparing for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 which is to kick off in a couple of days, Central Defender Sandesh Jhingan shared his thoughts on chances of qualifying for the next round. In an interview with AIFF, he stated that India can overcome tough opponents if they prepared as a team.
“If you are prepared as a team and focused on the job at hand, you can make the game tough for the opponents,” Jhingan said.
He believed that India with unity among the players can “grind out the results” by sticking to the plan and performing as the coach wants them to.
When asked about the team he thinks will be the toughest in the group stage, he pointed out that India can beat any over-confident team even if is a host team.
“UAE is the host team and I feel they will be tough to face. But I believe that the onus is all on us. If any team is over-confident or not at the top of its game, they can be beaten,” he said.
Stephen Constantine’s Blue Tigers landed in Group A with UAE, Bahrain, and Thailand in the Asia’s biggest football event. They face host UAE on 10th January in their second group match.
Jhingan spoke about his desire to be part of Indian national side after the team was defeated by Bahrain in 2011 edition.
“In 2011, I was a kid. I remember watching the Asian Cup match against Bahrain and I cried after we lost. We had played very well and deserved a much better result. The performance of the Indian team in that tournament fuelled my desire to make sure we qualified for the tournament once again and me being a part of it,” he reiterated.
Jhingan also hinted at fitness as his priority to get selected in the list of 23 for the Asian Cup since India got qualified.