Captain Sunil Chetri expressed confidence on India retaining the title as the SAFF championship gets underway in Kathmandu on Saturday.
Chetri, though, is aware of the tough challenge the six-time champions can face from teams such as Afghanistan, Nepal and Maldives. “Past is past. This is a different tournament altogether. We need to begin from scratch.
“We just cannot rest on our laurels and take it for granted that we’ll again turn out to be the winners,” he said on Friday.
“We are focused on defending our title. India are the team to beat in this SAFF Championship and as a result, there is always an amount of pressure on our team. But we are ready for it,” Chetri explained.
The team went through a gruelling training session at the Police Headquarters Ground, the same venue where they had practised the previous two days.
Coach Wim Koevermans reminded that each and every game should be given its due importance.