The Chennaiyin FC star excited to compete with the new faces in the Indian national team…
Chennaiyin FC did not have the best of seasons this time in the Indian Super League (ISL) as they finished eighth on the points table with 20 points from as many games.
Their star campaigner Lallianzuala Chhangte was the joint top scorer for Chennaiyin with four goals but he was also guilty of squandering a fair few amount of chances, most of which he had created himself. He took 38 shots in the entirety but only four were converted.
Chhangte, though, wants to forget the bygones as he vows to help the team come back strongly next year. For the time being, the Mizo attacker is focused on performing well for the national side in the upcoming friendly matches against Oman and UAE.
“Personally, a lot to learn from a season like the one we just had. We worked hard but couldn’t replicate the good bits from training, in the match situations. We don’t have any excuses. We just have to treat it as one big learning experience. For me, I know I will work even harder and come back stronger with Chennaiyin FC next season. But now the focus is entirely on our national camp and getting back into the groove with the squad,” Chhangte told Goal.
The 23-year-old footballer sounded excited while speaking about the emergence of some new faces in the national side but he also mentioned that he is ready to compete against the youngsters in the national side.
“First and foremost, I am my own competition,” stated Chhangte. “And I couldn’t be happier for my compatriots, who all had brilliant seasons personally and for their teams. At the end of the day, to see everyone grow is good news for Indian football, irrespective of the clubs we play for. At the same time, healthy competition is an absolute must.
“Like you said, it keeps me spurred on and I know I absolutely cannot take anything for granted. I am thankful to the Indian Head Coach and the management for picking me for the camp. I will do my best to deliver and make our national team fans proud, back home.”
Chhangte is also pleased to face strong Asian teams like Oman and UAE and claimed they are confident of putting up a good show in the friendly games.
“Donning the India jersey and representing your nation is an unparalleled feeling. We know we have a lot of work to put in, so we will put our heads down and focus on improving. Playing two strong Asian teams in Oman and UAE can only mean good things for us. We are pitting ourselves against the best in the continent. We will give a good account of ourselves, I am certain,” opined the winger.
While Chhangte admitted that the aim of the Indian team is to now secure a berth in the Asian Cup qualifiers, he maintained that they are taking baby steps to achieve their target.
“We have to take one game at a time and focus on our improvement. On being a cohesive unit that is a well-performing national team not just for now, but the future. We have faith in the Head Coach and his management, and I am sure with more time and international match experience, we will grow by leaps and bounds. And yes, securing an automatic berth in the Asian Cup qualifiers will be a massive boost to our confidence,” said the national team player.