New Delhi: Five successive wins in as many international matches to boast of, including three away games, Indian football team head coach Stephen Constantine is a happy man and said that THE unbeaten streak in the last 10 months showed the character and maturity of his young side.
Since losing to Turkmenistan in Kochi in India's final 2018 World Cup Qualifier match, Constantine's boys have won five international matches on the trot, beginning with the 1-0 victory over Laos in Vientiane on June 2 last year.
The latest wins were the back-to-back victories -- both away matches -- against Cambodia (international friendly on March 22) and Myanmar (2019 Asian Cup Qualifiers on March 28).
In between, India beat minnows Bhutan 3-0 in Thimphu in August last year but it was deemed an unofficial friendly match.
Constantine said "six wins (including the match against Bhutan) in a row speaks a lot" and three away victories in three away matches "reflects the character of the side".
The last two away victories were accomplished in front of a partisan crowd -- 70,000 in Phnom Penh and 20,000 plus in Yangon. Asked about this, Constantine said it showed maturity of the players in dealing with adverse situations.
"It reflects the maturity in the team. Although we are a young side, we have been together for more than two years. We know what to expect and because we have introduced so many players in last two years, they have all have the experience to adjust to the crowd, their hostility, the travel schedule, the hanging around in hotels, airports, buses etc," he said.
Constantine credited the good run in form to team effort.
"It is not about who dribbled or who headed or who scored or who passed. Football is not just about who is in the spotlight or is in the thick of action. Rather is all about the unit -- right from the players to the staff," Constantine said.
Asked about his assessment of his second stint as India coach so far, Constantine said he could see "a bit of consistency in the game" of his players.
"When I took over in my second stint, I had said that there will be good days and there will be bad days. We needed time to establish our character and needed to change some of our habits to get the team to play to a level that suits India," said the Briton, who took charge for his second stint in February 2015.
"So far, some of the results have not been pretty while some of the games have been quite good. We know what is expected and we have added a bit of consistency in our game.
There is a fierce competition for places in the squad and no one stays guaranteed. But the boys want to be there and because they want to be there, they give all they have and the ones who are doing that are getting the calls," he said.