Mumbai, Aug 23 (IANS) India football team coach Stephen Constantine on Wednesday said St Kitts and Nevis cannot be taken lightly and his men would be guarded against the visitors when the two sides meet in the Tri Nation football series here.
“They haven’t travelled the other side of the world to lose. We can’t afford to expect anything less than a tough fight from the Caribbean boys. They are a tough bunch and a very skilful team. At the end of the day, it’ll be a very difficult game for us,” the coach said.
St Kitts and Nevis are ranked 125 in the world. India are on a good run winning nine matches in a row (including the unofficial match against Bhutan). India won their first game of the tournament 2-1 against Mauritius.
Asked if with each match the pressure is mounting on the players, the Briton said: “I don’t believe so. We take one game at a time. What we did, it’s history now.
“Every day starts afresh and we only get to look forward. As I’ve mentioned before we have a long way to go. A ticket to the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 is yet to be confirmed which is our ultimate goal.”
India take on Macau next in the AFC Asian Cup qualifier. Constantine said the game would be treated like any other and not as a preparation for the all important Asian Cup tie.
“We’d better treat it just like another game. It’s better to be called as the preparatory game before the Macau game – the same manner as we treated the game against Mauritius the other day,” he said.
Meanwhile, St. Kitts & Nevis coach Jacques Passy said for them it would be like a virtual final. They drew with Mauritius the other night.
“I’m a person who believes in ‘no-excuse’. We were aware of the fixtures before touching down and now we can’t complain about the fixture,” Passy said.
“Whatever ammunition we have, I believe we can put up a strong fight against India. Moreover, I can guarantee you that even if we lose, the tight schedule won’t be mentioned even once by us,” the coach said. “It’s a must win game.”
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