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AFC Asian Cup 2019: Halicharan Narzary - Difficult to play three matches in less than 10 days

5:41 pm AEDT 12/1/19
India vs UAE Halicharan
Although India went down against UAE the winger believes that India can still qualify for the next round...

India winger Halicharan Narzary did not enjoy a good match against UAE in the Asian Cup on Thursday and was substituted at half-time in favour of Jeje Lalpekhlua.

The Kerala Blasters could not carry on from his performance against Thailand and was understandably disappointed after the 2-0 loss to UAE.

"I think I performed a notch lower than what I did against Thailand. It's not that I did not give my 100 per cent. I tried my best but I could have done better and pushed harder," Narzary told Goal.

When India take on Bahrain on Monday they would have played three high intensity matches within a span of less than 10 days and the winger acknowledged that it is a 'difficult' task to cope with the fitness demands.

"It is extremely difficult to play three matches in 10 days. We get a very short recovery time. All teams are very good. So our task becomes even more difficult. But we are ready for the challenge."

One of Narzary's strengths is his high work rate and his performance against Thailand earned him plaudits for not only contributing to the team's attack but also for tracking down to help his teammates in defence.

"We did not play great in the first half against Thailand. We had a tough time. During the break, the coach appreciated our efforts but told us if we want to win, we should put in more effort. So I think we tried more in the second half and the result followed."

However, the loss against UAE has opened up Group A and India must ensure that they do not return empty-handed from the final group game against Bahrain. History is not on their side as the Blue Tigers are yet to register a win in their last five encounters against the Middle-Eastern country.

But Narzary believes that his team have got the mettle to churn out a positive result on Monday and secure qualification.

"We have been preparing really hard for the tournament for the past four years. We have played regular friendlies against good opponents to improve ourselves. We are a bit disappointed with the loss (against UAE). But we have not lost hope.

"There's one last game left. We will do all we can and try to win the match and qualify for the next round. That is it," concluded the 24-year old.