India men's national team defender, Pritam Kotal claims that it is "absolutely crucial" for the Blue Tigers to qualify for the 2023 Asian Cup and that they need to take it "match by match".
India have been drawn in Group D alongside Cambodia, Hong Kong and Afghanistan in the qualifiers with the Blue Tigers scheduled to open their campaign against Cambodia on Wednesday, June 8.
Kotal for his part is looking forward to India enjoying home advantage, while reiterating that they must "ensure" that they do well in the three qualifying games.
“It’s absolutely crucial for us as a nation to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup, and all of us in the team are completely focused on that. We will try our best and hopefully will make it to the tournament properly. We need to take it match by match, and we must do well in all the three games ahead of us," he said at at the press conference.
The Blue Tigers go into the Asian Cup qualifiers as the favourites with head coach, Igor Stimac even claiming that his side will be expected to top the group - though has urged his side to be wary of Afghanistan, who he believes pose a big threat as they are much more "physical and stronger".