GUWAHATI, March 11 � The newly appointed captain of the Indian football team Subrata Paul said he is optimistic of a good show against Nepal in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2019 AFC Asian Cup Preliminary Joint Qualification matches which will be played at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium here tomorrow.
Paul, who was replaced as captain of the team in place of Sunil Chetry by coach Stephen Constantine prior to the FIFA World Cup qualifying match, said in the pre- match press conference that he is happy about the preparation of the team under Constantine.
�Our boys are working very hard and nobody has any injury problem. All are raring to go for tomorrow�s match�. Asked whether he will be under pressure as it will be his maiden match as skipper, Paul said that he never feels like that as he has been associated with the Indian team for a pretty long time.
His deputy and the main striker of the team Sunil Chetry said all the players are fit and fine. All are optimistic for a positive result tomorrow. Coach Constantine revealed that it will be a difficult match as their Nepal counterparts have developed a lot and have the experience of defeating India. He, however, mentioned that all the players are physically and mentally fit and that has been their advantage this time.
He said to improve the standard, all the Indian clubs should have sports science, sports medicine facilities along with all state-of-the-art infrastructure. He also urged the former players to come forward to extend a helping hand in order to uplift the standard of Indian football.
Nepal captain happy with preparation: Captain of the Nepal football team Sagar Thapa expressed his confidence of doing well in tomorrow�s match against host India.
�We have the experience of defeating India at our home ground and that will definitely help us going in with a positive note in tomorrow�s match� Thapa said.
But he said the magic boy of the Nepal football Bimal Ghartimogar�s injury will be a cause of concern. It is not sure that 17-year Bimal, who is at present playing for a Belgium outfit, suffered ankle injury and is likely to miss their away match against India. Nepal team coach Polish Jack Stefanowski showed absolute confidence on the team and said they will get down tomorrow with a positive note. Nepal team�s main strength will be their frontliners � Santosh Shahukhala and Rohit Chand.
CM to inaugurate: Assam Football Association secretary Ankur Dutta informed that the match will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi while former international footballer Swadhin Dekaraja will be the guest of honour in the opening ceremony.
Match starts at 7:00 pm