Indian midfielder Anirudh Thapa has stated that the national team is under a transitional phase under Croat Igor Stimac, after a great run under former coach Stephen Constantine. The Chennaiyin FC star is a mainstay in the national side and has been used extensively by both the coaches in the past.
Even though India’s FIFA rankings have improved drastically over the past few years, the results are still not satisfactory. The Blue Tigers flattered to deceive in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, having scripted a sensational 4-1 win over Thailand in the opening match but losing the next two, eventually crashing out of the tournament in the process.
It was following the exit that Stephen Constantine stepped down as the coach of the side, paving the way for Igor Stimac. Indian midfielder Anirudh Thapa, while comparing two coaches, stated that two coaches followed different philosophies, with the team currently in transitional phase under Igor Stimac, after a great run under Stephen Constantine.
“They both are good coaches and have different playing philosophies. We did great under Constantine and are in a transitional phase under Igor Stimac. One of them was a bit direct in play while the other focuses on possession-based football,” said Anirudh Thapa, during an interview with Sportskeeda.
The Chennaiyin FC footballer is a mainstay in the national squad and was extensively used by both the coaches, with him featuring in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup - where he scored a goal against Thailand. According to him, playing at the highest level donning the blue jersey was one of the greatest things to happen in his career so far.
“It was one of the greatest things to happen to me. It is one of the most important competitions in International football and the most important event in Asian football. I scored a goal and it was special. We were happy to realise that there were fans outside India who follow and support Indian football,” added the footballer.