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Sunil Chhetri urges to support the team

New Delhi, Jun 27 (UNI) Unruffled by all the criticisms levelled at the team over the past few weeks, Indian striker Sunil Chhetri urged people to repose faith in the national squad despite the recent poor performances.

''We play for India. When we lose, it's India who has lost.

The call for removing some players is not the way. Healthy criticism is always welcome. Ok, we lost the final. We didn't perform very well in the final. That doesn't mean that people start blabbering about us,'' Chhetri told mediapersons after the Indian team's practice session here today.

''The Dutch lost, French lost, Italy lost in the Euros. But their supporters will continue to back them instead of just chastising.'' Chhetri backed team-mates Mahrajuddin Wadoo and Samir Naik after the recent criticisms by ex-India coach Syed Nayeemuddin over their selection by coach Bob Houghton.

''If Bob has decided to choose them, I'm sure then that they deserve to be in the squad,'' he said.

''Samir has been with the national team for almost a decade.

He is one of the few players in Indian football who has practically won every Cup. You name it and he has the medal - Federation Cup, I-League and what not. It is not a joke to have so many wins under your belt. Even in Maldives, he was brilliant.

''As far as Mehraj is concerned, he played his part. He was good whenever he came on especially as a right back in the Bhutan game,'' he added.


Story first published: Friday, June 27, 2008, 19:07 [IST]
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