Abu Dhabi: India central midfield football player Anirudh Thapa said that the team would be looking to overcome all their adversities while participating in the upcoming AFC Asian Cup beginning January 5.
Terming the UAE team as the toughest team in their group, the 20-year-old said that India possess a lot of quality players who are all set to take the challenge.
“I like to attack and play forward. It is my job to help others score. I like to have the ball at my feet and create chances. Everybody wants to score goals. I am no different but my first priority is to help the forwards. UAE will be the toughest team in our group as they are hosts. They possess a lot of quality. Thailand and Bahrain will also present their own set of challenges. But we are ready for it. We need to play united as a team, and aim to overcome the adversity,” Thapa said.
In the international friendly against Jordan, which ended in a goalless draw, Thapa played the role of a striker and he totally relished it.
“Playing as a striker in a depleted squad was extremely challenging for me, and the team. Given the circumstances, we put up a decent enough performance. The match against Oman was also a learning experience,” he reflects.
Thapa’s partnership with Pronoy Halder has been the talking point in recent matches when the Blue Tigers have played. He said that the association helped him “immensely” adding that he has given him the confidence to move ahead with freedom.
“Playing alongside Pronoy has helped me immensely. Now I can go forward because I know he will protect the back and will take care of the space I leave. I can now play with a lot more freedom than I used to,” Thapa said.
India will kick-off their Asian Cup campaign against Thailand at the Al Nahyan Stadium on January 6.