India suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of UAE in their second Group A game of the 2019 Asian Cup. However, they only need a draw in their final match on Monday against Bahrain.
Sandesh Jhingan pointed that the current set of players in the India squad are positive in their approach and a speech by coach Stephen Constantine certainly helped them get over the disappointing defeat to the hosts.
“When we lose a game its disappointing. The way we played, we all believed we did not deserve a defeat. The good thing about this squad is that no matter how much hardships come, we get over it and the squad is full of strong and positive characters.
“You feel bad when you lose but the gaffer gave a very good speech after the game and he said there is no point in thinking about what could have happened and so we must look forward to Bahrain. We were back at work and all pumped up,” said Jhingan.
India haven’t kept a clean sheet at the Asian Cup since the 0-0 draw with Iran in the 1984 edition. Jhingan stressed that while it is important to not concede, India must also look to score goals at the other end.
“We would like to keep a clean sheet in this game and also score goals upfront.
It’s funny that we played against Bahrain exactly on the same date eight years ago in the Asian Cup. We tried hard but lost 5-2. It's a special moment for me to play against them and I hope this time we can win and qualify for the next round,” he mentioned.
The Kerala Blasters defender appeared relaxed in his demeanour and explained that it is vital that the players do not overburden themselves with pressure.
“It's not the most important game for me. I don't like to put unnecessary pressure on myself. No point stressing over it and I rather just give our best, stick to the plan and try to get a good result.
“Our past results speak for itself, we are a good side and for tomorrow’s (Monday) game, we need to be professional, be mature and stick to the plan. If we can manage to do that, we will get the result and qualify,” he reasoned.
The former Indian Super League (ISL) Emerging Player award winner pointed out that the Indian team deserve to be in the position they find themselves in. They only need a point to make it into the next round of the continental championship.
“It’s been a tough journey so far and the boys have shown character. We have worked hard every day since the gaffer (Constantine) came in and hence, we deserve to be here,” he concluded on a positive note.