I never wanted to be Houghton’s assistant: Nayeem

July 1st, 2008 - 12:08 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, June 30 (IANS) Sayeed Nayeemuddin Monday night rubbished national soccer coach Bob Houghton’s claim that he had wanted to be the Briton’s assistant to learn from his training style. “It’s all rubbish. Total untruth. Houghton is saying all this because I demanded his resignation after India’s poor show in the SAFF Cup,” Nayeemuddin told IANS here.

Nayeemuddin, under whom India won the previous edition of the SAFF Cup two years back in Pakistan, said he had not even watched Houghton train the Indian players.

“I only met him once in Delhi during the Nehru Cup last year. That was a courtesy call. He is senior to me, and also has lot of experience of international soccer. So I went to exchange pleasantries. But I never asked him whether I can be his assistant,” said the Dronacharya award winning coach.

“I feel he should go, and then the All India Football Federation should appoint an Indian as coach. Even a junior will do a better job than Houghton,” he said.

Houghton replaced Nayeemuddin as India’s national coach in 2006 after the team’s poor showing in the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.

Nayeemuddin said India went down to the Maldives in the SAFF final because of “poor leadership both on and off the field”.

Ridiculing Houghton for blaming the players’ lack of fitness and poor grounds for India’s debacle, Nayeemuddin said: “He got so many foreign tours to prepare the team in the last two years. He got a lot of time. But has not given anything to Indian football, except these allegations”.

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