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Constantine believes tri-series will give crucial practice to the Indian team before Macau game

DESPITE THE INITIAL hiccups and less than ideal situation around the upcoming tri-series, head coach Stephen Constantine believes it's good preparation for the Indian national team.

The series, originally envisioned as a four-nation Champions Cup, was supposed to take place in Chennai following a national team camp but it moved to Mumbai after the local authorities slapped the Blue Tigers with a bill too high.

The tri-series, which will see India, St Kitts & Nevis and Mauritius play each other once (with no talk yet of any grand finale following that), all of which will be played in the Andheri Sports Complex where India has played some of its recent international friendlies.

Speaking to AIFF Media, Constantine said that it was important for players to get some match time before they travel to Macau for an Asian qualifier game,

“The two matches would immensely benefit our quest to maintain an all-win record in the Asian Cup Qualifiers.”

India have previously beaten Myanmar on the road followed by a crucial home victory against Kyrgyzstan. They now sit at the top of the group with 4 matches left, and beating Macau will make path to the next Asian Cup much wider. Constantine noted,

“Qualification to the 2019 Asian Cup stays the priority. It will be nice to work with the boys again. They will be coming after a long break and we need to work hard for them to attain the fitness levels which are required for an International match. The boys need to play matches to understand each other better.”

India are on an 8 match winning streak, the longest in their history. If they manage to beat these two lower ranked nations in the upcoming tri-series and follow that up with a win against Macau, the path may be primed for them to achieve their best FIFA ranking since the evaluation system was introduced.

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