Clifford Miranda: The players let Koevermans down at the Challenge Cup

In an exclusive chat with, the Dempo winger spoke on how the season went for him and his future with the National team...
Clifford Miranda stated that failing to make the cut for the AFC Challenge Cup left the squad frustrated as they failed to draw the crucial tie against Myanmar last month. With it, India's dream of making it into the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia went up in smoke.

“We crashed out of the AFC Challenge Cup. It was really heart breaking. In the last match, a draw would have been enough for us but we eventually lost it. Then we had the hope that we will qualify as one of the two best second placed teams. But we lost that spot by just 1 goal. That was even more heart-breaking," Miranda told

"Everybody was so frustrated in the dressing room that day. Myanmar was not a very tough opposition and we had a very good first half. But then we lost it after the break,” he lamented.

The experienced Indian international also lauded the efforts of Wim Koevermans, the Dutch coach of the Indian National football team, who has come in for a lot of stick for failing to deliver when it mattered.

“I believe, Koevermans has done a great job with the team. He worked really hard with us. It is us, the players who have let him down,” he mentioned.

Miranda isn't yet think of retirement from the national side and added that he shall continue to be available until there isn't a good replacement found.

“I will carry on till I am good and there is no better replacement,” he said.

Dempo SC have endured one of their worst league campaigns this season and Miranda believes that lack of strikers have come to hurt them.

“We started the season on a good note. We were leading after the first 4-to-5 matches. But then, things changed. I had in my mind that something of this sort may happen because of the lack of strikers. With due respect to all our forwards, the team lacked a ‘hitman’, who can score 15-to-20 goals for the side. Ranti Martins had been doing this for the team in the past. Our plans paid off in the first 10-to-12 matches, when we had somebody scoring for the team. But then the problem started happening,” Said Miranda.

However the left winger opines that the club must now aim to be in the top half of the table until the end of the season.

“We will try to win as many matches as possible. The aim will be to seal a top-5 finish. It is still statistically possible for us to be the winners, but we know that we are far away from the crown,” he signed off.

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