Robin Singh: Football starts from home

The Indian international was in buoyant mood at the Budweiser 6V6 Cup’s Delhi leg and spoke on a plethora of topics…

Robin Singh was pleased with his performance at the Challenge Cup qualifiers where he scored the winner against Chinese Taipei to hand India three points in their very first group game. He however added that the Blue Tigers should have won their game against Myanmar had it not been for their own mistakes.

“It was brilliant as I scored my first goal for the country obviously that was the winning moment for me.  Yeah, we should have won the last match (against Myanmar) which we lost due to our own mistakes, I guess. And I am looking forward to playing for the country again soon,” he told

The 22-year old believes that his side will do well in the next edition of the Challenge Cup qualifiers and qualify for the tournament proper.

“Everything has ups and downs and especially football. You are winning ways change overnight. So yeah, we had a bad spell but that does not mean it’s over. We have to look at the next challenge and I assure you myself that we will qualify,” he mentioned.

Criticism has come in from several quarters especially against coach Wim Koevermans who has failed in his target to get India into the Challenge Cup and eventually to the 2015 Asian Cup. However Robin defended the gaffer and said, ”I think Wim Koevermans is a good coach and he’s the only coach I have played under in the national team. There will always be good people and there will always be bad people. So some men like him and some may not like him. I, personally, do like him.”

There were calls for Koevermans to play with two strikers instead of the lone man upfront that he deploys, a strategy which failed to deliver. Following his goal against Chinese Taipei, one expected the Dutchman to hand him a start. But that wasn’t to be.

“Every coach has a different attacking style and a different game plan. I obviously fit into his (Koevermans’) game plan as a substitute. But at the same time that doesn’t go with my coach Trevor Morgan at East Bengal as I have been starting there. So every coach has a different strategy and he kept his cards close to his chest. And I came on whenever I was required.

“I believe in playing ‘Total Football.’ So if you want me to play a withdrawn striker I will do that. If you want me to play upfront, I will do that. And obviously Sunil (Chhetri) being the senior striker, he has much more experience than me. So if you wanted him to be upfront, I’m fine with that. As long as I am scoring, you can make me play as a stopper!” he stated.

Robin turns his focus to club football and backs East Bengal to win the I-League title this season given that they lead the charts.

“I have been with East Bengal for three years and it is like home out of home for me. Yes, it’s been brilliant. We are at the top of the table and what more can I ask for? But yes, in these three years we have always been second (in the I-League) and let us change our ways and come first this time,” he said.

The Tata Football Academy (TFA) graduate had an advice for the budding footballers as he asked them to chase their dreams being ably supported by their family.

“There will always be people who will push you forward and there will always be people who don’t push you forward. Thankfully I have always had family on my side. So I think football starts from home. So if you are a footballer, I request all parents to push their children in whatever they want to do. Because at the end of the day, if the child is happy, he will do great and I am happy playing football,” he opined.

He added that chances in life do not come often and when they do, one must try and make them count as much as possible.

“As I said, the opportunity is always at your door. It is when you open and take them in. And I had my opportunities and I have caught them by the collar. But yes, there are some opportunities that are lost but I am making up for old time,” he signed off.

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