Sunil, Gurpreet must lead from front at Asian Cup: Bhutia

Jan 05, 2019, 08:17 IST | IANS

The Sikkimese icon maintained that Chhetri will have to take up the mantle of looking after not only his game but also his lesser experienced colleagues

Sunil, Gurpreet must lead from front at Asian Cup: Bhutia
Bhaichung Bhutia

Talismanic skipper Sunil Chhetri and goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu will have to play leading roles on and off the pitch, if India are to do well in the upcoming Asian Cup football tournament, feels former captain Bhaichung Bhutia.

India, who qualified for the Asian Football Confederation's flagship tournament after a gap of eight years, have in their ranks a lot of youngsters, complemented by the experience of Gurpreet and Chhetri. Both of them were part of the Doha Asian Cup back in 2011. India, who lost all their matches back then and bowed out of the group stages, take on Thailand on Sunday, before facing hosts United Arab Emirates (UAE) on January 10, and Bahrain on January 14.

"Two persons will be very crucial — Sunil Chhetri and Gurpreet Singh (Sandhu). Both have the experience of playing AFC. India have a young team and their guidance will be the key on and off the field," said Bhutia. The Sikkimese icon maintained that Chhetri will have to take up the mantle of looking after not only his game but also his lesser experienced colleagues.

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