Mumbai: Nippy Indian football team winger Kumam Udanta Singh says playing alongside "idol" Sunil Chhetri brings out the best in him.
Udanta, a former AIFF Academy cadet, admitted that Chhetri, who is his club and country captain, has influenced him a lot on and off the field.
"He (Chhetri) is an inspiration. I feel privileged to share the dressing room with Chhetri bhai both at the club level as well as the national team," said Udanta about his Bengaluru FC team-mate.
"He has been my idol and for so many youngsters. At the end of the day we learn from our seniors and that comes best when you are playing alongside someone like him," said the Manipuri right winger.
Ater staging two back-to-back wins in the ongoing Intercontinental Cup, head coach Stephen Constantine rang in as many as seven changes to the starting line-up against New Zealand to have a better understanding of his bench.
Although the result did not come India's way against the Kiwis, Udanta stated the players have learnt from their mistakes and they're now prepared for the final on Sunday.
"We are confident of our abilities and we're pumped up before the final. We are going through a process and we're confident to perform to best of our potential," he said.
"The final on Sunday will be a different ball game and I trust the spectators won't go back home disappointed," Udanta said in reference to the football fans who have shown tremendous support for the team during the Intercontinental Cup.
Udanta, who scored his maiden international goal in the first match of the tournament against Chinese Taipei, said it was "quite a moment" when he saw the ball bulge the net.
"Yes, it was quite a moment for me. Providing assists for others is one thing but cutting the final job out there is something entirely different and it's pure bliss for a footballer to score for his country," he said.
"Now that I have scored one I need to stay grounded and continue the job. I don't mind scoring a few more."
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Updated Date: Jun 08, 2018 20:43:11 IST