The last encounter against Nepal was when the Gorkhalis defeated India 2-1 in the SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) Championship 2013 fixture played at the Dashrath Rangasala in Kathmandu, Nepal. Last year, the two nations played out a goalless draw in the 2012 Nehru Cup at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi, India.
"Every international match is important. We can't take any team lightly or can't say that we 'can take this match easy' because, as it is this is international football, and there are no light opponents. We lost against Nepal in the SAFF Cup. So we will see to it that we will get a positive result out of this match," said Miranda.
The Goan remained unperturbed on Nepal fans expected to turn up in numbers at the Kachenjunga Stadium for the match.
"The Indian crowd will also be there. So it doesn't matter. We want our fans to come and support us. Their fans will also come as Nepal is close by from here. So as long as we play good football and the Indian fans back us, I think it shouldn't be a problem."
The Blue Tigers played out a 1-1 draw with Philippines on Friday evening in which a Sunil Chhetri goal in the 41st minute was cancelled out by Philip Younghusband in the very next minute as the two sides were made to settle for a draw.
Giving his view on the match, Miranda reflected, "We (India) played well against Philippines. In the first half we played well, kept the ball well. In the second half, we gave away the ball a bit - that's something that we have to learn and we will. Having said that, we could have won the match in the final minute, (had Jeje Lalpekhlua's header found the target) but then we can always improve in every match that we play."
India haven't beaten Nepal in the last two matches. However, the Dempo midfielder wasn't worried about the head-to-head record against the neighbouring nation.
"Before the start of every match the score is 0-0," he said. "So the past results do not matter. They do not come into any account. What matters is how we play on the day. Of course, it's not only about Nepal but whichever match we play, we try to win - whether it's a lower ranked team or a higher ranked team, it doesn't matter. So, yes, we will go all out and try to get a positive result out of the match [against Nepal]."
|'An early goal gives the advantage, but then it is important to keep that goal'|
Clifford Miranda had to miss out on the SAFF Championship 2013 due to injury but added that he was proud to have made a comeback.
"Injuries happen. It's a part of life. Sometimes you're fine, sometimes you're not. But yes, having come back in the [national] team feels great and to play for the country is always a proud moment," he expounded.
Quizzed if there is more responsibility on him, being one of the senior players in the squad, the 31-year-old replied, "As far as responsibility is concerned, everyone is old enough here to be responsible. Once you play for the nation, you have to be responsible. Being one of the senior members, it does give some added responsibility. But then, football is played by feet and not by mouth."
In the last five matches, India has either conceded first or scored late in the match, except for the encounter against Philippines. Stressing on the importance of scoring an early goal, Miranda opined, "An early goal gives the advantage, but then it is important to keep that goal, which was something that we couldn't do in the last game. But then, as I said, we can only learn from these things.
"As you know, coach Wim [Koevermans] is working really hard on us and the boys are also working hard along with him. So there's no looking back - whether it's a draw or whatever, we just have to move on from here."
"It may be a momentary lapse of concerntration or something that we are working on. But you can't say that we were in a celebration mode," he insisted, on being asked as to how India conceded just a minute after taking the lead against Philippines.
"We have done this to other teams in the past and it happened to us [against Philippines]. So we will try to rectify our mistakes and keep them to the minimum."
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