Doha, May 30 (PTI) From playing against Borussia Dortmund's star forward Erling Haaland in an age-group match, young mid-fielder Suresh Singh is now ready to fit into any role in the senior India team as per its requirement.
India are scheduled to play Asian champions Qatar on June 3, Bangladesh on June 7, and Afghanistan on June 15 with all three matches to be held at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha.
'I am a coach's player. The role of the player is to execute the plans and stick to the role assigned to him to perfection,' the 20-year-old was quoted as saying by the All India Football Federation.
'The coach will guide me and tell me what he wants from me for my team. I always try to gauge what the coach demands and thereafter I depend on his technical inputs. During the match, I just stick to the role assigned to me.
'If you ask me I always love to be the box-to-box mid-fielder. But there have been matches where I started in the wings. Playing in different positions helps me to gauge the finer aspects associated with every position in the field.' A part of the 2017 U-17 World Cup squad, Suresh has been with teams such as Bengaluru FC and Indian Arrows in club football, and the experience has helped him in his journey that began in a small town in Manipur.
'For a young boy coming out of a nondescript town in Manipur, I wrote down in my diary every time I flew abroad. I have been privileged enough to play against Brazil, USA, Argentina, Sweden, Norway amongst others, and also youth teams of clubs like Bayer Leverkusen, FC Cologne, Hoffenheim amongst others.
'Against Norway we were tied 0-0 at half-time but after Stalin (Sanjeev) was sent-off, we lost 0-2. I remember Erling Haaland playing in that match,' he said.
Speaking more about his journey, he added, 'Contrary to the generic perception, the journey hasn't been a bed of roses. In fact, it's been tough. There have been a lot of sacrifices involved in terms of football, and even life.
'I have learnt to focus on myself as to what I can do -- in terms of training, eating sleeping, recovery process, discipline. The phase also taught me to be extremely patient.' PTI AH PM PM