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We have to do lot of defending: Chhetri

Press Trust of India  |  Shuzhou 

Keen to see improving their away record, national team captain Thursday said defense will be the key when they play an international friendly against after 21 years on Saturday.

"We have to defend really well. By the look and feel, I believe we have to do a lot of defending. We should not afford them much space. At the same time, whenever we find a little room of opportunity, we have to construct the moves and counter them," said

"To sum it up, it's a game where we must be at the top of our game in every single department. If we are not being able to combine well and operate as a team, then they'll make us struggle a lot," he said.

Chettri said have not done well away from our home and it's time to better "our records".

"It's the time to do so. I just hope we can utilise this opportunity to go back and give a good account of ourselves. We have to convince ourselves first that yes, we are improving. Come January, it will be very difficult for us and we have to be ready for that."

"I'm happy that we are playing a team like It's strange that we are playing them after so long. We should have played them more often. I'm very excited because they are a quality opponent and they have always been a respected side in "

Chettri missed out on India's last away fixture against the due to an He is keen to make his presence count but will not take pressure.

"I don't take too much pressure on myself. I'm happy that I'm back to the team once again, that too for an away fixture. It's very difficult but it's something where I want to be. Thank God, everyone seems to be fit, I'm fit too. I can't just wait to go out there and give our best on Saturday."

The said he was more focussed on the team doing well than personal accomplishments.

"If you focus on personal goals, then you'll go in a different direction where you don't actually want to head. We are a team and that's the most important thing. I'm one of the senior players, actually, the senior most and I have my responsibility towards the team. What we achieve individually is important but it's never ever more than the team does."

are being coached by World Cup-wining Italian but Chhetri said every team playing at home is dangerous.

"Forget about China -- any team who's not as fancy as China are always threatening at their home. China are one of the Asian teams who are doing really great in of late. The League has gone from strength to strength and team has benefitted from that under a like

"That's going to be the perfect challenge that we need to assess ourselves. We have done really well in the last couple of years but now it'll help us gauge ourselves before the Asian Cup.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, October 11 2018. 18:05 IST