Gouramangi Singh: Featuring in Asia Cup should be our immediate target

Former India international Gouramangi Singh believes that the Blue Tigers should aim for consistently qualifying in the AFC Asian Cup as their immediate objective. While speaking to AIFF TV in a live conversation, the former Chennaiyin FC defender opined that FIFA World Cup qualification should be a long-term aim for the Indian national team.

“We need to feature in the top 8-10 (teams in Asia) and we always need to stay in the AFC Asian Cup every four years, without fail. For us to really talk about qualifying for the World Cup, it’s a long-term project. We are on the right track, with the kind of facilities and the infrastructure. To consistently be in the top 10 teams and feature in the AFC Asian Cup every four years should be our immediate target,” said Gouramangi.

A hard-working player with an incredible work rate, Gouramangi – who represented Chennaiyin FC and FC Pune City in the Hero ISL – has received praise in the past from former India teammates Sunil Chhetri and Subrata Paul for his work ethic. “I know for a fact that I am not the most talented player. I was not the fastest or strongest centre-back, but what I did was I found a way to survive,” he said.

“I needed to play a game that suits me and that helps the team win. So, I tried to understand what the coach wants from me. Eventually, the goal of the player and the coach is the same because both want to win a football match,” Gouramangi added.

Now a coach in the Hero I-League second division, the 34-year-old also feels that Hero ISL clubs having pre-season tours abroad greatly benefits the players. “Players associated with the national team are used for foreign tours, as they have been getting to do it in the last many years. But with Hero ISL clubs holding pre-season abroad, which is not usual in Indian football, it will only benefit us,” Gouramangi explained.

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