Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan): A day prior to India’s last group league match against Kyrgyzstan here, coach Stephen Constantine said despite already ensuring qualification, the team will push for a win in their AFC Asian Cup qualification Group A game.
India will take on Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday in an inconsequential tie with the team already qualified for the AFC Asian Cup 2019.
They are at the top of Group A with 13 points. This is India's second qualification in eight years, the team having qualified last time in 2011.
"We haven't come here to lose. Our objective was to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 and we have achieved our aim. From now on, it's part of our preparation for the Asian Cup to be held next year," Constantine said.
The last time the two teams met in Bengaluru, India skipper Sunil Chhetri's strike made the difference.
Constantine also dismissed the speculation that the cold weather in Bishkek may play a crucial role.
"The weather is not playing any crucial part," he clarified.
India goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu who was also present at the press conference stated that "there isn't any added pressure."
"Kyrgyz Republic are a very strong side. They recently won against Myanmar and have also qualified for the Asian Cup. We respect them as an opponent. We want to win and as coach said, the match is a part of our preparation towards the AFC Asian Cup next year", he said.
Moreover, Constantine declared that "India will play for a win."
"I always play to win and never to lose. When you represent the National Team you are never playing for a draw. The result might be a draw but we won't play for a draw," he quipped.
Gurpreet highlighted the importance of a solid back four which lays the bedrock for the success of any team.
"Not only us, every team needs a solid back line. We have conceded few and have been able to put pressure on our opponents. The plan worked for us. We'll look forward to continuing doing that", he said.