We have not achieved anything yet: Constantine
National team coach Stephen Constantine believes Indian football has "not achieved anything yet" but the quantum leap in FIFA rankings has intensified the team's quest to qualify for Asian Cup 2019 and break into the top 100.In the latest world rankings issued by FIFA, the country was placed 101, a significant achievement in the context of Indian football.The Briton, though, is not reading too much into the recent growth story.
"We need to stay focused and make sure we understand we have not achieved anything yet. I would rather be 101 in the FIFA rankings and qualify for the Asian Cup UAE 2019 than be 95 and not be there," Constantine said.
The 54-year-old, in his second stint with the Indian team, optimistically added, "If we do our job and work hard we will, I am sure, achieve both of those goals."
In March 2015, India's position had slipped to 173 out of 209 countries, its worst ever ranking, and they improved to 135 the following year.
Constantine warned his players to keep their feet firmly on the ground.
"It's been a difficult road. We had last qualified for the World Cup Qualifiers long back and we were struggling on all fronts. Of course you can't change things overnight but we will continue to try and improve and get better," he said.
"Bringing in new blood and creating competition for places in the team has been a process, and I'm pleased we are moving in the right direction."