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The defender spoke about his form over the last year, while defending the national team’s performance against Palestine. He also looked ahead to the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers...

A steady presence at the back for a few years now, Gouramangi Moirangthem is one of the senior players in the Indian squad.

With the side set to kick-start its AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers campaign, the defender spoke to Goal.com, expressing his pleasure at the preparation for the tournament.

“It (training camp) went on good, as we got a chance to train together,” stated Gouramangi.

While the camp went well, the Blue Tigers were hammered 4-2 by Palestine in their last International friendly. The Prayag United player though, was keen to stress that the team had moved on from that game, and even had a few positives from it, to carry forward.

“If u see, this (Palestine friendly) is not the first game I played. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. It is a matter of how you bounce back. It is one game, we always want to win, more than anyone else, more than the coach or the staff, we players really want to win.”

“Against Palestine, we played a few new players and it takes a bit of time for them all to settle.”

“I am very optimistic (looking ahead), it (the Palestin game) is gone now, we will bounce back. We have taken some positives from that game too,” added the former Churchill Brothers defender.

The centre-back himself has come under plenty of criticism in recent times, but felt that a team always wins and loses together.

He explained, “I am trying my best. I know I could have done better. When the team plays bad, we play bad. But I think the criticism should be in a more positive way, so that we could move ahead.”

“I went with my big fee to Prayag and want to do well there. I know I can definitely do better, we are now in top half, but I think we need more time together; it is a matter of time before we click,” continued Gouramangi.

Coached by two Dutchmen, Eelco Schattorie at club level and Wim Koevermans with the national team, the defender felt they had a few similarities in their playing style, and given time, both would do well.

“They both love to keep the ball on the pitch, both are senior and experienced coaches and a lot of their training methods are similar. And I am trying my best with both, this is a new team and it will grow.”

When quizzed about his expectations heading into the Challenge Cup qualifiers, the defender was quick to express his and his team-mates determination to make the 2014 Challenge Cup main stage.

He stressed, “I am going there to win and we hope to win all three games.”


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