Indian national football team coach Stephen Constantine may be under a bit of pressure at the moment after failing to inspire his men to record a single draw or a win in their previous five World Cup Preliminary Joint Qualifiers this year, but the British coach has found support in Indian football legend Bhaichung Bhutia.
The former national team striker and one of the legends of the game to play in the India jersey, was appointed as the advisor to the AlFF (All India Football Federation) on Sunday. He incidentally also is the chairman of the AIFF Technical Committee.
Constantine's tactics have been criticised from some quarters of fans as well as officials from the football governing body of India after the national team failed to win any of their previous six matches.
Two losses against Oman, and a loss each against Guam, Iran, and Turkmenistan each, gave India no chance of recording any single point from the Group D of the Fifa World Cup qualifiers (AFC). Constantine's side also failed to win a friendly against Nepal at home prior to their clash against Iran.
The odds may be stacked against Constantine, but Bhutia has come out to state that he sees no reason why the experienced coach cannot see through his contract, which runs until 2017.
"Stephen Constantine will complete his contract in 2017. As a technical committee chairman and now an advisor, I can assure you that," Bhutia told the Times of India.
Speaking on the present state of Indian football, the former Mohun Bagan and East Bengal goal-poacher revealed that he doesn't see the Indian national team playing in the next two FIFA World Cups.
However, he believes that the India U-17 side have a good chance to make a name if they make an impact in the upcoming World Cup in India in 2017. "Team planning has to be long term. We are not playing the next two World Cups to be honest. If the U-17 team performs well in the World Cup, they have got a good future ahead. That gives us more to work on. Right now, it's difficult to work on the present batch because there is no support," the 38-year-old added.