India U-16 football head coach Bibiano Fernandes has stated that he isn't willing to read too much into the team's performance at the four-nation tournament in Serbia and has his eyes set on the AFC U-16 Finals in Malaysia. The tournament will be held from September 20 to October 7 later this year.
The Indian U-16 players were at their very best in the final of the recently concluded four-nation Under-16 Tournament held in Serbia and outplayed Tajikistan 4-2 to be crowned as the champions. However, before getting the better of Tajikistan, India had also beaten Asian powerhouse Japan 2-1. While both the teams have qualified for the AFC U-16 finals, the victories are sure to boost the Indian team’s morale big-time. However, Fernandes doesn’t want to think much about the last victory and stated that his eyes are all set on the elusive AFC Cup trophy.
"It actually doesn't mean much as this is only the process for our main objective. We haven't yet achieved anything much. But yeah, I am very happy that the boys are showing great focus and hunger in the process. Our main target is the AFC U-16 Finals Malaysia 2018," Bibiano told AIFF.
The four-nation tournament was a part of AIFF’s attempt to organize a series of exposure tours in collaboration with Sports Authority of India to help prepare the team for the AFC finals. While it has been successful for India so far, Bibiano cautioned the colts against complacency.
"The boys are growing in the right direction, but we've got a long way to go. There are so many aspects on which we need to improve tactically. These exposure tours making the boys more confident and capable," he said.