New Delhi: It has been almost two years that Robin Singh has been waiting in the wings. He was eventually rewarded with a call for the preparatory camp for the Nehru Cup and earned his International debut against Maldives. In a freewheeling interview he speaks at length about his role in the team, his International debut, the match against Cameroon and much more.
You have been a regular starter in the I-League for almost two years. But the India call just came calling. How special was your International debut?
This is my first step towards playing for the country. It is always special to play for India. Playing for your country and club is very different. When I donned the India jersey for the first time, the feeling was very special and unique. I am relishing every bit it and want to give my all for the country.
How would you describe your role in the side?
I have always been the target man in every team. I have the responsibility to support the other striker receive the aerial balls as well. It is not difficult for me to adjust as I play in the same system under Trevor (Morgan, East Bengal coach). Football is a team sport and not an individual sport. So every player needs to be ready to respond to the call – be it in the Starting XI or as a substitute or from the Team Bench. You need all the 11 players to stand up and deliver.
Is there anyone you look up to in the side?
I don’t look up to anyone as such in the team. It’s a new learning curve for me and all the seniors are brilliant at their game. I am learning something new every day.
India will be playing Cameroon in the final on Sunday. Can India get the better of the Indomitable Lions?
It is always 11 vs 11 on the football pitch. We have the belief that we can. I don’t believe in rankings so it does not bother me that they are 59th and we are 168th. It matters what you do on the day. If we play to our potential and give our hundred percent we certainly have a chance.
People have always questioned your attitude. How do you cope up with it?
In life, there will always be lovers and there will always be haters. I am who I am for those who love me, and for those who hate me. Performance speaks and I believe I am putting in that extra bit every day to do well. My performance has earned me the international call. I have been consistently doing well for the last two years. My job is to play and I don’t care about my detractors.
By Debayan Mukherjee