Mumbai: Indian football team midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh believes that the Blue Tigers would have been better prepared for their 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifier against Kyrgyzstan, had they played Tuesday’s friendly against Lebanon, instead of Nepal.
Coach Stephen Constantine’s men were set to host the Lebanese side, before the friendly was called off due to visa issues. Nepal were drafted in as a replacement for the international friendly.
“I think the right preparation is to gel as a team. The XI who are going to play, or the players who will come on, just to understand how to play with each other,” said Lyngdoh, on the sidelines of the national team’s training camp, at the Andheri Sports Complex, in Mumbai. “But obviously we would have loved to play against Lebanon."
“The mood is great. The players are excited. We are representing the county again after a long season,” he said.
“Obviously there's the Kyrgyzstan game to look forward to. Keeping that aside, the Nepal game is also important, so that we set up our side properly, ” he added.
The Indian football team has been on the rise over the last year or so, with Lyngdoh, who made his international debut two years back against Nepal, as one of the midfield linchpins.
The 30-year-old believes that the Blue Tigers are finally on the “right path” under coach Stephen Constantine.
“The journey has been tough. We've had our ups and downs. There were games that we've played badly, and there were games that we've played well,” said Lyngdoh. “Things obviously have gone in the right path, and now we are in the top 100, which just shows that we are actually doing quite well, ” he added.
Lyngdoh has had a difficult season at Bengaluru FC, where he was dropped from the side plenty of times, before he finally convinced manager Albert Roca with his performances in the AFC Cup and the Federation Cup, which they won, defeating Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan 2-0 in the final.
When asked about how the approach under Constantine is different from that under Roca, the BFC playmaker said, “It depends. Different coaches have different styles of play. And I would say that possession helps the players. When we have the ball it does help us feel a bit more calm and secure, but when we are chasing the game, it's completely different. As a professional, it is our duty to adapt to the national teams and the clubs coaching style."
“In BFC we normally try to keep the ball a lot. But here we’re gonna go hard, we’re gonna be aggressive. We want to push ourselves forward as fast as we can,” he said....