India’s FIFA U-17 World Cup team coach Luis Norton de Matos today refused to predict his side’s chances in the upcoming tournament, saying that instead of thinking about the results the country should take it as “a first step for the future”.
India are drawn in a tough Group A along with former champions Ghana, Colombia and United States of America, and de Matos dropped enough hints that his side may not reach the knock-out stage of the competition, beginning on October 6.
De Matos, who took over as the head coach of the U-17 team in March after the sacking of Nicolai Adam, was speaking to the reporters at the sidelines of a programme to wish good luck to the Indian team by Hero MotoCorp, the ‘national supporter’ of the tournament.
“It is difficult to build a strong team in seven months but we have done what we can in this short time. There is a gap between India and the other teams, say from Europe and South America,” de Matos.
“So, I don’t think much about the results and chances but I know my players will give their best. That is what they can do. I see this World Cup as a step forward for the future (for India). India can build on this experience,” said the Portuguese tactician when asked about the home team’s chances in the tournament.
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