India went in less prepared for World Cup qualifiers: Bhaichung  (21:49) 

Kolkata, June 17 (IANS) Former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia on Wednesday blamed the national team’s underpreparedness for the back-to-back losses in the World Cup qualifiers.

“Sometimes the results just don’t go your way. It’s not easy to put things together in such a short span of time. The coach had very little time to prepare the side and therefore we had to go with very less preparation.

“It is always difficult when you lose such games, but one has to give more time to Stephen (Constantine) and wait. We need to trust and support him,” Bhutia told reporters at the Calcutta Sports Journalist Club.

India went down 1-2 to both Oman and lower-ranked side Guam in their first two qualifier outings this month.

Speaking on Sunil Chhetri’s 50 international goals, Bhutia said: “It’s a wonderful achievement. Half of his goals have come when I was his teammate. I hope he can carry this form into the next few games, looking forward to many more.”

Bhutia also said he was still chasing his dream of retiring wearing an East Bengal shirt.

The Indian soccer icon has had five previous stints with the red and gold outfit, having started his senior career with the club in 1993.

“I am still in search of the last game. Yes, the plan is still on, but presently I do not have much time. I have lot of things to deal with, Atletico de Kolkata, coaching, politics. I would only come to training when I can dedicate my time towards it.”

“What is the use of training for two days and then not turning up for seven-eight days, it becomes difficult for the coach too. Be it 5 minutes or a whole 90, I will retire wearing the East Bengal shirt.”

However, the 38-year-old Bhutia said he was not looking to revive his career and had no plans to turn out in the Indian Super League.


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