Good show in Asian Cup qualifiers will boost football: Arnab Mondal

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Mumbai, Mar 15: India defender Arnab Mondal believes that if the national team does well in the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers it will give a major boost to football in the country.

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"The more we perform well, it is better for the coming generation (of players). If we play these matches (AFC Asian Cup qualifiers) well, it is better for Indian football," Arnab told reporters.

File photo: Arnab Mondal (left) with Indian coach Stephen Constantine and Sunil Chhetri

Mondal is in the camp, in progress at the Andheri Sports Complex here, for the probables for the March 22 friendly against Cambodia in Phnom Penh followed by the March 28 AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Myanmar in Yangon.

"We don't getter more matches. If we perform well (in the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers), it will be good for the future players and also for us in the team. It will be vital for us," the 27-year-old player added.

Asked if the Indian team is ready to take the next step and qualify for the tournament proper, he said, "This is the reason we practised for so may year and do hard work. I have belief in the team that we will be able to qualify via the qualifiers".

India have been clubbed in Group A with Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, and Macau. On whether the draw is favourable in the Asian qualifiers, he quipped, "We can't sit here and say (whether the draw is favourable).

"We are preparing for it and the other teams are also preparing for it. Like I heard that Myanmar has a German coach. We will give our 100 per cent".

The East Bengal player also exuded confidence that the national team will do well. "The more options are better.

"Robin (Singh) is fit and has come back. With his coming, options are more," he said on the inclusion of fit-again striker Robin Singh who was out for seven months last year after picking up a knee injury.

PTI

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