Harpal Singh Bedi /New Delhi
Ace Indian striker Jeje Lalpekhlua on Monday admitted that friendly football fixture against China is going to be a “tricky game for us.”
Jeje’s team mate Sandesh Jhingan, however opined that match gives “us opportunity to improve as a team”.
“I think this game is going to be very tricky. In order to accelerate our preparation for the Asian Cup, we need to play such game. However, we’re going to learn quite a few things from this game and we’re looking forward to it,” Lalpekhlua said on the sidelines of the two-day preparatory camp in New Delhi
China are currently ranked 76 in the FIFA Rankings and the striker showed his respect for the Red Dragons as well.
“China are playing smart football now. The Chinese Super League has gone from strength to strength very much. They are more developed now and we have to play as a team to garner some positive result.” Jeje said
He was of the view that the game is more important for the team at this moment than the result.”The result is obviously important but the most important aspect is how we play the game”, he added. “The team-work is important. We have to work together. If we are able to do this according to our plan, we can get a positive result.”
He praised the AIFF Young Player of the Year Anirudh Thapa “He (Anirudh) is a good player with a good football brain. He’s high on confidence and played really well of late. I hope he’s one to watch in future,” .
Playing away from your home is always difficult. But we will play the Asian Cup in the UAE and it’s going to be a big test for us. So, we need to play more away games now and the match against China is the right test to face.”
Jhingan who has established himself as one of the lynchpins in the current Indian team, maintained that “The first and foremost thing is to improve as a team and as an individual. Results of a match always matter but we must focus on our performance primarily”, .
“We’re coming back (to the National Team setup) after a long time. We all have developed a good chemistry amongst us. Now we must focus to enhance our performance.”
“We need to give our 100% on the pitch and focus to execute the plan. If we play as a team, results will follow.”
“We are eagerly looking forward to it (the game against China). They are a respectable side. They have got huge success as a national team. Money is flowing in the league. Their ranking rightly reflects their good work towards improving the level of football,” said Jhingan.
The team will leave for China on Wednesday. The friendly match is scheduled for Saturday .