Youngsters like Gurjinder Kumar and Adil Khan would be there with you for the first time. How do you make them comfortable?
It’s not that I stay unaware of them and vice-versa. We have played against each other at the Club-level many times. Gelling won’t be a problem. In fact, they are already an integral part of the squad.
What’s the role of International Friendlies prior to such a Championship?
International Friendly definitely gives you the confidence required to play at the highest level. They play a major role. The exposure certainly helps.
How confident are you as far as India’s preparation is concerned?
Football is not an individual game – it’s a team game. One can’t win matches depending on one individual. And as far as I am concerned, I will try my level best and give 100 percent. We have a fairly good chance to win the title.
How would you rate Tajikistan – India’s first opponent?
I think we have a psychological advantage against them as we defeated them in final in Delhi. But nothing can be taken for granted. We need to be cautious as we have been drawn in a very tough group.
What’s your message for the fans back home on Holi?
On behalf of the team, I wish all a Happy Holi. We need their support and prayers so that we can give our best for the country. This is one of the most important tournaments for us.