By our sports Reporter
GUWAHATI, March 11: Experienced custodian Subrata Paul will lead India in the World Cup Qualifiers Prelimiry Joint Qualification Round 1 match against Nepal on Thursday. Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium will be the venue of the match.
Announcing Subrata's me as the captain, Indian coach Stephen Constantine said, "We need to have a new beginning and try to develop a new-look and a new attitude. That's why we have a new captain. Sunil Chhetri is a part of it, but for the next two matches, Subrata Paul will be the captain. We have huge respect for Sunil and which is why we have him as the vice-captain".
The first leg between India and Nepal will kick-off at 7 pm and the game would be telecast live on DD NE and Newstime Assam. DD Sports would be broadcasting the deferred telecast of the match at 10 pm tomorrow. Although there was not so much craze in ticket sale that was seen at the time of the ISL, yet the AFA officials are optimistic that the gallery will be packed during the match.
With this match, Stephen will start his second innings with the Indian tiol team. Earlier, he also coached Nepal tiol team. Talking to media persons Constantine today admitted that this might be a sentimental match for him. "Yes, this may be a sentimental match for me as I had earlier coached Nepal. But on the pitch it would be pure business. Nepal are an organized side and would be ready to fight. It will be a big challenge," he said.
Replying to a question, Constantine said that he wanted to play in a system which would suit the players. "The 4-4-2 is the mother of all formations. So for me the system is not as important as the players in the system," he added.
Meanwhile, the captain of Indian team Subrata Paul admitted that this is his toughest match of his career. "It is the toughest match of my career, However, there's no pressure on me. I know what my duty is and I want to enjoy my football. We have practiced hard for this and the support staff have been helping us at every step."
Sunil Chhetri, the vice captain and the highest-ever Indian goal scorer in Intertiol Football, added: "The first leg of a two-game tie is always important. We have to give our best and hope that we have a lot of home support behind us. We are not thinking of the second-leg match in Kathmandu as the first game isn't over as yet."
Nepal Head Coach Jack Stefanowski informed the media that he wanted to go to Nepal with a positive result. "We have prepared for around two and a half weeks for this match. We hope to go back to Nepal with a positive result."
He also felt that pressure would be on India. "The Hero ISL has brought in high expectations and the pressure is on India. Though the Indian players are a bit athletic, there's not much difference in the quality among the two sides," he pronounced
Meanwhile Nepal Captain Sagar Thapa preferred to recollect Nepal's 2-1 victory over India in the 2013 SAFF Championship. "We hope to play in the same spirit."