AFC Asian Cup qualifiers: India coach Stephen Constantine says no player can take his spot for granted

Mumbai: Indian football coach Stephen Constantine on Monday stressed on the need to have intense competition for places in the team, adding no individual can take his spot for granted.

The national team camp for the forthcoming AFC Asian Cup qualifying match against the Kyrgyz Republic kicked off.

 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers: India coach Stephen Constantine says no player can take his spot for granted

File photo of Stephen Constantine. Image courtesy: AIFF

Players from Mohun Bagan and JSW Bengaluru FC, will, however, be reporting to the camp in stage 2 after finishing their respective AFC Cup club commitments.

"We are looking always for competition and nobody in the team can be assured of their places in the squad," Constantine said.

"We need to ensure that everyone stays in good condition as they have had a very long season. We expect one or two players to be carrying some niggles and we need to look after them," he added.

The squad will be training here for the next fortnight where they also play Nepal in an international friendly at the Andheri Sports Complex on 6 June. The match against the Kyrgyz Republic is slated to be played at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on 13 June.

"There are newcomers in the side including eight U-22 players. We have selected the players on basis of their club performances.

"The players need to possess the character which we are looking for as the willingness to do the work is of paramount importance," Constantine stated.

India are currently ranked 100 as per the May 2017 FIFA rankings. The team had slipped to 171, when the Briton took over in his second stint in February 2015, and touched a record low 173 the same year in March.

The list of 35 probables:

Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Subrata Paul, Debjit Majumdar, Amrinder Singh, Albino Gomes, Vishal Kaith (U-22).

Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Nishu Kumar (U-22), Arnab Mondal, Sandesh Jihngan, Anas Edathodika, Chinglensana Singh (U-22), Lalruatthara (U-22), Fuganco Cardozo, Subhasish Bose (U-22), Narayan Das, Jerry Lalrinzuala (U-22).

Midfielders: Jackichand Singh, Udanta Singh, Laldanmawia Ralte (U-22), Seityasen Singh, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Rowllin Borges, Cavin Lobo, Md. Rafique, Dhanapal Ganesh, Milan Singh, Issac Vanmalsawma (U-22), Halicharan Narzary, Bikash Jairu.

Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Daniel Lahlimpuia, Robin Singh, CK Vineeth.

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Updated Date: May 22, 2017 19:32:57 IST