National team jersey entrusts you with more responsibility, believes Indian defender Anas

Bengaluru (Karnataka): The sturdy defender from Kerala Anas Edathodika has come to Bengaluru with an extra baggage — carrying the ‘Jarnail Singh Best Defender of I-League’ Award.

But this is not letting him get carried away before the much-anticipated AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Qualifiers tie against the Kyrgyz Republic on June 13.

“We’re fit and we’re ready for the upcoming match against the Kyrgyz Republic. We know the importance of the match and under no circumstances we will leave the ground without giving our 100% on the pitch,” he stated at a media interaction prior to the practice session at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.

On being asked whether they’re rating their opponents as the toughest lot in the group, he maintained: “Everyone is saying they’re the toughest team in the group but we’ll strive to steal all three points against them. We respect every opponent equally. We always give our best shot and we would continue to do so,” he went on.

The 2016-17 session has been a happening one for Anas. On being asked about the difference of National Team set-up from the club ones, he said, “International matches are completely different from the Club competitions. With all due respect to the club competitions, the National Team setup is completely different. You have to push your limits every time to keep your place. You have to concentrate more when you play an International match.”

“A moment of lapse in concentration will make you pay dearly.”

“When I got this (pointing the National Jersey), it was like I fell numb. Until then it was representing a club or a region. But the National team jersey entrusts you with more responsibility. It makes you feel immensely proud.”

Anas added, “Fortunately, we have written quite a few newer chapters in Indian Football history — be it beating Myanmar in Myanmar after 64 years or winning an International Friendly match at the foreign soil after 11 years — we have accomplished them.”

“It’s about putting all our efforts on the pitch and executing the plan well. We’re aware of the fact that we’re going to create history of winning eight on the trot if we win this match, but right now, we’re not letting it overtake us. We’ll continue to give our best, the result will follow,” he sounded focussed before joining his mates for the practice session. (ANI)