New Delhi, Aug 14(ANI): Bob Houghton, chief coach of Indian football team, on Friday exuded confidence at the team and denied that players were under any sort of pressure prior to the Nehru Cup 2009.
Houghton said this while addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Friday.
India will be the defending the title that it won in the last edition of Nehru Cup held in 2007.
The Nehru Cup is scheduled to kick-off on August 19 at the Ambedkar Stadium in the national capital when hosts India will take on Lebanon.
Houghton said that India is well in contention to win the Nehru cup as India is on a roll of winning international competitions.
"I don't think it is adding pressure to the boys. I think it's nice feeling for them to come to a tournament where they are regarded by all the other countries that are taking part here to be the team to beat. And that's because we won that thing two years ago and then we won the challenge last year," said Houghton.
"It has changed people's opinion about us. And all these countries coming here they will be concerned about the games against India thinking India is the team to beat and that's a very comfortable position to be in," he added.
He further said that the players are not taking any of the opponents lightly and it is important that India starts the Nehru Cup campaign with a victory.
Indian football team returned from their tour to Spain last week, where they played practice matches against Tercera Division sides.
Houghton also stressed on the need to allow players recuperate from injuries before allowing them to play in matches.
"Finally, players don't return to playing national leagues until they are absolutely fit irrespective of the importance of the upcoming games. And this is something we will do with (Sunil) Chettri. I don't think there is no way we will play (Sunil) Chettri if we thought there was any doubt about his fitness," he said. (ANI)