Fear of playing against big teams is gone now: Climax
As the Indian football team gears up to lock horns with German giants Bayern Munich in Bhaichung Bhutia's farewell match, Lawrence feels former coach Bob Houghton has instilled enough confidence in the side to take on any opposition.
As the Indian football team gears up to lock horns with German giants Bayern Munich in Bhaichung Bhutia's farewell match, Climax Lawrence feels former coach Bob Houghton has instilled enough confidence in the side to take on any opposition.
"Houghton has instilled a new confidence in the team. We were afraid of playing the big teams but that fear is gone now. Even if we are playing against some big names, we know we will learn something from the experience," Lawrence said.
Lawrence, who captained India to SAFF Cup victory in December last year, said the Bayern Munich match will be a learning curve for the team.
"It will be a great experience, we will look to be positive against them. There is so much to learn from the experience," he said on the sidelines of a promotional event.
The midfielder's views were endorsed by stopper Gouramangi Singh, who said the team will look to give their best against the German giants.
"It will be a mountain to climb. But every time a team goes out, it plays to win. We will give our best against Bayern," Gouramangi said.
The defender added that it will be an honour for the team to play against one of the best football sides in the world.
"It will be an honour to play against Bayern and it will also be an honour to feature in Bhaichung's farewell match," he insisted.
"Bhaichung is a great player, not only the seniors but even the juniors, who did not get an opportunity to play alongside him, have a lot to learn from him," Gouramangi observed.
Meanwhile, Lawrence hailed Bhaichung as one of the greats the country has produced, but pointed out that the team will have to look forward and cope with the changes.
"Bhaichung was a great player, but everyone has to retire someday. It is Bhaichung today, tomorrow it will be me and it will be somebody else a day after. The thing is that you have to learn to cope with the changes," he said.
The Dempo player, however, said the future augurs well for the country with likes of Jeje Lalpekhlua and C S Sabeeth coming up the ranks.
The veteran footballer also doused talks around his retirement saying he "may play for another year or two".
India's new striker Jeje, one of the most promising youngsters, looked keen to play alongside the likes of Arjen Robben and Phillip Lahm.
"We will try our level best against Bayern. I am looking forward to play alongside Arjen Robben, I like the way he plays," said Jeje.
The striker, who will get his first opportunity to rub shoulders with Bhutia, said he has to learn a lot from the talismanic footballer.
"Bhaichung is my idol, I have to learn a lot from him. It will be the first time I will be playing with him and probably the last," he said.
Jeje rued the lack of time as reason for failing to make an impression on Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers, where he had gone along with Sunil Chhetri for trials.
"We were there for a very little time. We wanted to play in the Hamburg match but there were some visa issues, but I am sure the opportunity will come again," the striker said.
Jeje and Chhetri had flown to Scotland in November last year.