Bengaluru, Sep 4 (IANS) The odds are stacked heavily against them in their upcoming World Cup qualifier against Iran, but India coach Stephen Constantine is confident that his boys will put up a strong fight.
The two nations will clash here on September 8. But if recent form is anything to go by, the 23-member Indian squad have their task cut out against the top ranked team in Asia.
They wasted several scoring chances before being held to a goalless draw by a determined Nepal in their last international friendly in Pune on Monday.
Their chances of booking their tickets for the World Cup has also gone haywire after a 1-2 defeat to lower-ranked Guam in their last qualifier.
But Constantine has full faith in his boys.
“I hope we can give the fans something to cheer about. It will be very difficult match for us but that’s the time when you can discover on whom you can depend upon,” Constantine asserted after arriving here on Friday.
The Anglo-Cypriot coach is also banking on the fan support here as the hosts — ranked 155th in the FIFA rankings — head into the difficult encounter against their 40th ranked opponents.
“We have great support here. The fans are really behind the national team. I appreciate that and so do the players,” he stated.
The Indians have been training in Pune in preparations for the Iran tie sin August 24.
Reflecting on the training stint in Pune, Constantine expressed satisfaction in the team’s preparations.
“The huge advantage that the DSK Campus has is that you have everything in one place. You have your medical facilities, the pool, the gym, rooms for screening and analysis in one campus besides the two wonderful training grounds,” he stated.
“You have everything that you should have as a club never mind a national team.”
“Furthermore, the willingness of the authorities who were immensely proud to serve the national team was awesome indeed. I need to thank Shirish Kulkarni and his team and look forward to continuing to the relationship with them in the future,” he added.