Asian Cup 2019: Stephen Constantine - India have a crop of young players with bright future

AFC Media
The British tactician feels that he has fulfilled his primary objective and it was time to move on...

Stephen Constantine stepped down as the head coach of the Indian national team after a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Bahrain which saw the Blue Tigers crash out of the AFC Asian Cup.

India conceded a penalty in the 90th minute after defending resolutely. Jamal Rashed converted from the spot to kncok India out.

In the aftermath of the result, India head coach Stephen Constantine revealed that he has stepped down from his position.

The English coach revealed that he believes he has fulfilled his objective and it was time to move on.

"I have been here for four years. My objective from day one was to qualify for the Asian Cup and we have done that. I am exceptionally proud of the players for everything that they have given.

"I thank the All India Football Federation (AIFF), Kushal Das, Praful Patel and Abhishek Yadav for the support that they have given me. I think my cycle is finished. I did what I was asked. It is time for me to move on," stated the British manager.

The former Rwanda national team manager insisted that he feels India has improved during his tenure as coach and the records are a testimony to it.

PS India v Bahrain

"As far as legacy is concerned, you can check up and tell me how many records we have broken in the past four years. 47 international debuts have been given. These boys gave everything in every game. They have made history on several occasions in my four years.

"I was there in India from 2002-2005. I left the country in a better place than it was in 2002. In my tenure from 2015-19, they are in a much better place than they were in 2005. We have a crop of young players who have a bright future. They need to qualify for these tournaments on a regular basis. They have the talent pool to do that," said Constantine.

On being asked that whether this is one of the saddest day in his coaching career the 56-year old quipped," I don't think it is the saddest day in my coaching career. It is not a great day for sure. These things happen in football. I think we didn't do enough today to win this game.

"Obviously, I will be sad to leave the boys because they were fantastic to me. And it is time to move on."