Dhaka: The Indian football team lacked consistency and disappointed themselves by going down in the SAFF Suzuki Cup final against Maldives, said chief coach Stephen Constantine.
“We didn’t play the game according to our potential and that’s where the lack of experience matters. We weren’t able to replicate our performance from the semifinal (against Pakistan) and that’s what happens when you play with younger boys,” Constantine said at the post-match press conference here Saturday night.
“They don’t have the consistency and the experience to play at the same level every game but they’ll learn from this. I think we didn’t disappoint anyone else but ourselves. We didn’t do enough to win the game but we move on from here,” he added.
However, the coach said he was proud of his team’s performance in the last two weeks. “The way they performed and delivered in the last 10-12 days, I’m extremely proud and happy. They are the future of India football for the next six-eight years. This tournament has been a learning experience for the boys who are mostly under-23,” Constantine pointed out.
Asked whether there was a tinge of complacency amongst the boys having won over the same opponents in the group stage, Constantine brushed aside the theory.
We scored 8 goals in 4 games which I don’t feel is bad. Had we scored 15 minutes sooner, maybe, that could have been a different game
“I don’t think there was a question of underestimating Maldives at any point of time. The fact is we couldn’t produce what we are capable of. Maldives deserve the credit for sitting back and keeping on frustrating us in the way we play,” Constantine stated.
“Basically if you see, we made two silly mistakes and we were punished for it. That’s football and we learn from this,” added the coach.