New Delhi: Making a comeback to the Indian football team after a long lay-off, first-choice goalkeeper Subrata Paul on Friday said that the team is yet to reach its true potential but promised improvement in the next one year.

Paul had an impressive outing in the team's 2-1 win over Syria in the Nehru Cup opener here.

"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," Paul said.

The unassuming goalkeeper felt that the team is headed on the right direction under the tutelage of new coach Wim Koevermans.

"The way things are taking shape, I'm sure in the next one year we will improve leaps and bounds as a cohesive unit.

The philosophy of Indian football is changing for sure."

As far as adopting to the new style of play under Koevermans was concerned, Paul asked for time.

"They say fortune favours the brave. We needed that bit of fortune against Syria and we capitalised on the chances we got. Settling into any new system takes time. You need to give us that space."

He felt the team was "superb" in the first 25 minutes against Syria, and added that the players adopted well to the conditions after the rain interruption.

"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."

Adjusting to the rain wasn't much of a problem, thanks to his days in Kolkata.

Rather than thinking about their next three matches, Paul said that the team is taking it one game at a time.

Paul said that the team is lucky to have youngsters like Jewel Raja, Alwyn George, Robin Singh and Manandeep Singh on the bench. According to him, Lenny Rodriguez and Francis Fernandes stood out in the match against Syria.

(Agencies)

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