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Iran will be a difficult game for us: Constantine

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As the beleaguered Indian football team gets ready to face Iran in what is touted to be its most difficult outing in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, chief coach Stephen Constantine says he wants to “give fans “something to cheer about”.

A 23-member Indian team arrived here today for the September 8 preliminary joint qualification match against the Asian giant.

Stunned by lower-ranked Guam in their previous outing, Indian players had been training at DSK Shivajians in Pune since August 24.

Besides, India also played an international friendly against Nepal on August 31, which ended in a goalless draw.

“We have great support here. The fans are really behind the national team. I appreciate that and so do the players,” Constantine said.

“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.”

As per the current raking, Iran are placed 40 in the ladder with India at 155.

The boys were given a break in the afternoon and practice would resume from tomorrow morning.

Reflecting back on the training stint in Pune, the coach said, “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 Mr. Shirish Kulkarni and his team and look forward to continuing the relationship with them in the future,” he affirmed.