New Delhi, Nov 10: India football team goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu has credited the unity and performance of the whole Men in Blues squad as their key to success on the international stage for the last one year.
He has maintained that the entire squad should be credited for qualifying in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
India secured their direct qualification to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup after 1984 when they earlier thrashed Macau 4-1 in their third qualifier match of Group An at Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore.
India are in Group A, accompanied by Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar and Macau, and by winning all the initial four matches, the men in blues also have grabbed an impressive lead to be at the top of the group of AFC competition which will hold in the UAE in 2019.
And while talking about his team's progress in a press conference in the last couple of years, the Indian number one claimed that the consistency is their key to succes as well as the work rate and preparation for each and every game has also developed in the recent years which is now reflecting on the field.
"I think we have become stronger as a unit with every passing game. The work rate has been exceptional and the biggest plus point stays that we have been consistent for the last 12 months. The results are ample proof of that," he said.
"Our good run cannot be attributed to just the back four or the goalkeeper or the midfielders or the strikers. The whole team needs to be credited including the bench. In all of our games, we have defended together as a team and have stayed patient for our breakthroughs.
"The last time in 2011 I was in the squad and it was a huge experience for me. Since then, qualifying for another edition of the AFC Asian Cup had been a priority for me.
"The Asian Cup is a stage where you would want to play in your career simply because you get to play against the best in Asia, all of whom are very talented players. It's the platform from where you can learn a lot to mature as a player," the Indian goalkeeper added.
India's will next play Myanmar AFC Asian Cup Qualifier which is slated to be held on November 14 and head coach Steven Constantine is believed to be keen to experiment in the dead rubber match, fielding a new formation with some fresh bunch of youngsters.