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Will give our everything on the pitch in Asian Cup, says Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

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Will give our everything on the pitch in Asian Cup, says Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

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SportsCafe Desk

03/06/2018

Indian football goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu has stated that the Indian team will look to erase the bad memories of 2011 Asian Cup, when they take part next year, again. He also heaped praise on team coach Stephen Constantine, who has been a huge influence in his national career.

In 2011, India had lost all their three games in the Asian Cup. They had played against South Korea, Australia and Bahrain and conceded a staggering 13 goals in three matches. However, the side has come a long way since then and is currently in fabulous form as they remain on a 13-game winning streak. And goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu seemed confident that the national team would give their best to leave an impression in the 2019 Asian Cup

“It's never easy to play against good teams and especially who are regular competitors in the Asian Cup. In 2011, the team gave all their efforts and in 2019 also we will give our everything on the pitch and try to leave an impression," Sandhu said, reported PTI.

The 26-year-old goalkeeper has also praised coach Stephen Constantine under whom India have flourished tremendously. Constantine's contract was recently renewed by the All India Football Federation (AIFF). 

“He has been a very important part in my national team career. He gave me the opportunity to play for India. He has been a very influential person in the national team over the last three years. We have progressed under him,” he said. 

Gurpreet also stated that he is looking to maintain his fitness throughout the season so that he could remain available for selection for the Asian Cup. 

“I want to play as many games possible for the club and country and I want myself to stay fit so that I am available for selection for the Asian Cup, we'll take one step at a time and if we keep going like that then we can put up a good fight there. My fitness resolution is 'no excuses to stay fit, anytime anywhere',” he further added.  

The lanky goalkeeper became the first Indian to ever play in Europe's top division and the only national team player to ever start in a Europa League game, for Norwegian club Stabaek FC in May 2016. Speaking about his stint in Europe, Gurpreet added that the level of football was higher in Europe than in India. He also stated that if he gets an opportunity, he would love to go to Europe for another stint. 

“No disrespect to the level of Indian football, but in Europe, the level was few notches higher and much more competitive. The atmosphere, the weather - all these things are different. As a goalkeeper, I have tried to stick to the things I learnt at Norway and put them to use over here. So it has been a mixture and it has been a helpful experience. If provided with an opportunity in near future, sure I would be willing for another stint in Europe if I find it worth it,” he said. 

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