Kolkata: National football coach Stephen Constantine may have ruled Michael Chopra out from representing India but the British PIO on Tuesday said he's not lost hope and was waiting the 53-year-old's exit.
Hitting out at the India coach, the Kerala Blasters forward said: "Stephen Constantine can say whatever he wants. Personally, it's not a problem for me. Well has he achieved anything in the game as a player? No."
There had been reports that All India Football Federation (AIFF) may not be too keen to extend Constantine's contract that gets over in February, a month before the Asian Cup qualifiers begin.
"As a manager what has he achieved, he has been India manager and was in Rwanada and other countries. I've heard reports about other managers taking over, so let's wait and see what happens," the-32-year old said, reacting to the India coach's comments that he had past his prime.
The Sachin Tendulkar co-owned side were originally slated to train at their home in Kochi but the team management decided to train at Kolkata as the move also makes sense since they face North East United FC in their first match in Guwahati 1 October.
"We went to Thailand and to travel all the way back to the Northeast, it really makes sense to do your preseason training here in Kolkata rather than going to Kerala. It will shorten the travel time and distance. We flew in yesterday. This is our first day training," Chopra said.
Md Rafique, who joined the training today despite injury worries, did not train with the team today while the training was conducted by head coach Steve Coppell.
"He should be fit. We are working on the fitness. Obviously there's a lot to work on. That applies to all the teams. When a new manager takes over, there will be new ideas and philosophy," Chopra said.