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Westwood interested in vacant India job

Bengaluru’s I-League winning coach throws his hat into the ring

Gulf News

DUBAI: Bengaluru FC coach Ashley Westwood has expressed an interest in the vacant Indian national team job.

Dutchman Wim Koevermans resigned as coach of India following The Blue Tigers’ 3-2 friendly defeat at home to Palestine on Monday.

England’s Westwood, 38, has emerged as one of the frontrunners for the job having guided Bengaluru to last season’s I-League title in their first year since formation.

The title was Westwood’s first honour in his debut season as a coach, having previously only been assistant at English clubs; Portsmouth, Blackpool and Blackburn Rovers.

Asked by Gulf News if Westwood was interested in the India job, the former Crewe Alexandra, Sheffield Wednesday and Wrexham defender, responded positively.

“I can work with Indian players and I’ve proven I can improve them,” said Westwood, who started his playing career under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United in 1995. “If they think I’m good enough then obviously they would have to approach the club, but I don’t really know how that works, I’m just interested in doing a good job for whoever that would be.

“Every coach and manager is ambitious and I’m no different. I just want to do a good job and hopefully people will come calling, that’s the aim and I’m sure that’s the aim of every manager.

“Everyone wants to manage a big club in the Uefa Champions League and there are plenty of routes to get there, every small step takes you there, so we’ll see who wants me. I’m no different to a player, everyone is ambitious and hopefully my career will keep going up.”

Asked if he was ready to manage India, Westwood added: “I’ve studied the opposition throughout India and watched a lot of football and I’ve watched it for a purpose and I’m learning all the time. That’s what I want to keep doing, I want to keep learning and striving and bettering myself.

“I’m never one to think I’m not ready, I’m confident in myself and ready for everything. If someone asked me if I was ready to manage a top English Premier League club tomorrow, I’d say yes. Until you’ve tried it you don’t know. Confidence in my abilities I something I’ve definitely got.”

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