Iran’s head coach Carlos Queiroz has asserted that the Indian football team have undergone tremendous change under Stephen Constantine in the last couple of years. Queiroz lavished praise on India’s policy of giving younger players a chance since it is the second youngest team in the tournament.
The Indian football team led by the magnificent Sunil Chhetri thrashed Thailand by a comprehensive scoreline of 4-1 in their opening encounter of the AFC Asian Cup on January 6. Chettri led the way with a beautiful brace, scored the two openers before goals from Anirudh Thapa and Jeje Lalpekhlua also found the back of the net as the Indians upset the Thai team.
Queiroz, who was at the helm when Iran did the double over India in the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers, also admitted that the Indian team have undergone massive change in recent years and look like a completely different side after their antics in the UAE.
“It is a completely different team since we played them The India team has made great progress [since then].
“It is a brilliant win and a very good performance. I would like to congratulate not only coach [Stephen] Constantine but the entire team and the supporters. It has been a fantastic result for the team. When you perform like this in the first game of the Asian Cup, it only shows that you are going in the right direction,” Queiroz told AIFF.
Previously, Iran had beaten India comfortably in Bengaluru (0-3) and Tehran (0-4) during the 2018 World Cup qualifiers in 2015 and 2016. Queiroz, who rose to fame as Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant manager at Manchester United, also praised India’s policy of recruiting youngsters in the national team after they fielded the second youngest squad in the tournament after Vietnam.
“When we need to prepare the team for the future, you can’t do it without the fresh pair of legs,” said the 65-year-old, who has coached the national teams of South Africa and Portugal in the past.
“If you are trying to take the national team forward, you need to think about the present, as well as take care of the future. If you don’t do that you only get stagnated,” he added.
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