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The striker hopes to make the final cut for the Nehru Cup and looks forward to breaking the ten goal mark in the league next season....

Indian national team coach Wim Koevermans recently named a shortlist of 27 probables, who shall continue to train under his watch, in the hope of making the final 20 players squad for the Nehru Cup.

One of those players who have made the cut is Robin Singh, who has been called up for the senior national team’s camp for the first time.

The lanky striker in an exclusive chat with Goal.com about how excited he was to be in contention for a spot in the national squad.

“You know it’s an achievement for me, as being an Indian, I looked forward to this. I have been with national teams at junior levels before but being with the senior team feels like an accomplishment for me.”

The East Bengal player also revealed the mood within the squad and was glowing in his praise of Wim Koevermans.

“The squad itself is very young, but all the senior players that are there, they are very welcoming. Infact the whole squad is very professional,” Robin Singh stated.

“Wim Koevermans is a good man. I like him as a person apart from him being a good coach. I hope to play under him at the Nehru Cup,” he further added.

The striker also hopes to make the final list of 20, and wishes to help the team defend their Nehru Cup crown. He told Goal.com, “I am hopeful (of making the final squad), I am giving it my best shot. The rest is in the hand of the coach and the staff.”

“We are just aiming to win it (the Nehru Cup), nothing else is on our agenda. There are some good teams in the fray, but we have set our eyes on defending the trophy.”

Robin Singh also thinks his physical strength and height would be a potent addition for the national team. He said, “Everyone has their own advantages, but I think my advantage is height and body strength. I think I am one of the tallest Indian strikers in the league at the moment.”

While India had a great outing in the U-22 AFC Championship qualifiers, the striker was not part of that side. Robin though doesn’t look back at it with any regret.

“I wasn’t disappointed (about missing out). Everything comes at its own time, though I have no idea why I was not there. But these are different things, and I am glad I am with the senior team now.”

Only having turned 22 years old this May, the forward has been a vital part in East Bengal’s plans for the last two seasons. However he has often come in under the scanner for his performances in the Red and Gold colours of his club, often drawing the ire of fans and media alike.

The 6 feet one striker though is unfazed by all the criticism.

“There will always be different kind of people – there will be lovers and there will be haters. But that does not kill me, it only makes me stronger! I am going to continue going with the flow.”

“If people thinks they can do better, then they are most welcome to do it better than me!” he continued.

The targetman is fully focused on the national team at the moment, and insisted he would think of the league season only after the Nehru Cup is over, though he does hope for a fruitful campaign for both himself and the club.

“India and East Bengal are two different things. I will go back and see how we are shaping up there, however ofcourse they are my club and I hope we do well.”

The player is grateful to his club for helping him develop and hopes to break the ten goal mark this season.

“Being  with East Bengal has really helped me become what I am, the experience I have gained is invaluable. Especially under Trevor Morgan, who is perhaps the best coach in the I-League at the moment.”

“I hope to break the ten goal mark! I have had some personal bets with my father over the same…I will tell about it at the end of the season!” he added.

Unlike several other players who are looking at getting trials abroad, the Indian forward hopes to first make a mark at his club and for his country this season, before looking at other options.

“At the moment I haven’t reached the ten goal mark, so my focus is on that and winning the bet with my father. So at present I will focus only on East Bengal and India, and if a chance comes my way, I will grab it with both my hands!,” he concluded.

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