AFC Asian Cup 2019: Jeje Lalpekhlua on India's chances - 'Anything is possible'

AIFF Media
The Mizoram-born player also recounted his memories when India last played the Asian Cup, back in 2011...

India's star striker Jeje Lalpekhlua feels if India fight together in the upcoming Asian Cup, they have a chance to progress to the group stages.

The 27-year-old feels the calibre of opponents they are up against means, India have to do very well to go through to the knockout stage. The Blue Tigers are placed in Group A alongside hosts UAE, Bahrain and Thailand.

"It is a very important tournament for us. It won’t be easy. We are playing good teams in UAE, Thailand and Bahrain. They will be difficult games and we are preparing well."

Jeje feels that playing teams like Jordan, Oman and China in the build-up to the tournament has raised the confidence levels of the Blue Tigers.

"I think the team is doing quite well and we pushed ourselves against the best. When we played against Jordan and China, we improved a lot and garnered a few important lessons for the Asian Cup."

He praised the dressing room atmosphere under Stephen Constantine and also highlighted the young blood in the squad who he felt have an important a role to play when India take to the field in the Asian Cup.

"In the last three years, the level and the results have been very good. Right now, the team is better and we are fighting for each other.

"The dressing room atmosphere is healthy and we try to guide the youngsters. We need to work together and fight for each other. I hope they can play with confidence and help the team. Everybody need to work together. I hope we can bring a good result."

He added, "In football,anything is possible. We have a good chance but it won’t be easy. We need to play our best game and hopefully we can qualify."

Jeje also recollected his memories from when India last played the Asian Cup, back in 2011, when India lost all their group matches against tough opponents in Australia, South Korea and Bahrain.

"I still remember when Sunil bhai scored a goal (penalty vs South Korea). I saw all games, especially the ones against Australia and South Korea. Tough results but still they gave it their all. It’s going to be difficult and we need to be ready for a fight. We need to be at our best."

The Chennaiyin FC striker also wants the fans to show their support to the team in whichever way possible to inpsire the team. 

"We need all the support you can give us. When you can’t come to stadium, support us from your home. Just pray for us and hopefully, we can bring you some joy."