We are yet to play to our potential: Subrata Paul

Updated: Aug 24, 2012, 17:31 PM IST

New Delhi: India goalkeeper Subrata Paul said Friday that they were not at their best in their match against Syria and were yet to play to their potential.

India beat Syria 2-1 Wednesday in the opening match of the Nehru Cup that was marred by intermittent rain and poor pith conditions.

"We are taking one match at a time. The victory against Syria is a thing of the past. When we take the field, the fact that we won against Syria won`t guarantee us a win against Maldives. That`s football. At the moment, we can`t afford to think about anything else. There`s still a long way to go in the tournament. The brand of football on display against Sryia isn`t our best and we are yet to play to our potential," said Subrata.

Subrata made a comeback to the Indian side after almost a year in the first match of the Nehru Cup.

"We started off well. The first 25 minutes were superb and we stitched a number of passes in the midfield. The commitment level was exceptional. However, with the rain interruption the underfoot conditions changed but we stayed good enough to adapt fast."

The Indian goalie commended the Indian youngsters for their performance against Syria and said that a lot woould be expected from them in the coming years.

"It was a team effort but two youngsters Lenny (Rodriguez) and Francis (Fernandes) were simply brilliant. They stood out for me. Not to forget that it was Sanju`s (Pradhan) debut and he was nippy and good. He has been waiting on the wings for a long time," said Subrata.

"The current crop is quite exceptional. Indian football stays lucky to have a Jewel Raja, Alwyn George, Robin Singh and Manandeep Singh on the bench."

Talking about his own performance in the game: "I was able to keep everything at bay under the rain. My colleagues were giving their best and that inspired me. I can never blame the rain for anything. In football, there`s no room for excuses. I have been lucky enough to play in Kolkata and hence adjusting to the rain isn`t much of a problem."

IANS