The Indian football team’s early exit from the AFC Asian Cup has shattered many hearts but the skipper Sunil Chhetri is still unshakeable, he says that he doesn't have any plans to pack bags and leave the ground.
He said: “No reason to (retire). One day there will be a No. 10 who will be better than me. Till then, I think I can contribute.”
Talking about the defeat that India faced against Bahrain in AFC, Chhetri said: “After the win against Thailand, I was fairly confident we would qualify, so to absorb this is particularly difficult. Gutted, Mentally, we killed it ourselves. Physically, we were not tired. Someone like Hali (Halicharan Narzary) could have run 180 minutes more. We just didn’t perform. As a senior player, I should have done something, maybe yelled at the boys to not just lump the ball because at this level you simply can’t do that.”
Chhetri was also questioned that why he didn’t change strategy in the second half, the legendary footballer said: “In such situations, a kind of mentality sets in, one that is difficult to rid yourself of on the pitch. No one told us to play defensively. We should have kept the ball, not just pumped it ahead without direction. Because even though we defended really well, at this level you will be punished for doing that. We just kept telling ourselves ‘let’s hold on for some more time’.”
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