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India full-back Subhasish Bose feels the Asian Cup experience has helped him gain confidence and credits the high-profile tournament for his rich form for Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League.
"After taking part in the Asian Cup, my confidence level has gone up," Bose, 23, told IANS.
Left-back Bose, who can also play as a central defender, was an integral part of India's campaign at the recently-concluded Asian Cup.
India thumped Thailand 4-1 in their first outing, but lost to the UAE and Bahrain in heartbreaking fashion to bow out in the group stage.
It was a last-minute goal from Bahrain that knocked India out of a possible maiden Asian Cup knockout stage berth, as the Stephen Constantine-coached side needed a draw.
"I have learnt a lot from seniors like Sunil (Chhetri), Gurpreet (Sandu), Jeje(Lalpekhlua), Sandesh (Jhingan) and Anas (Edathodika). We should have qualified for the round of 16," he said.
For ISL side Mumbai, Bose has been superb with his timely tackles and interceptions. Featuring in all of Mumbai's 14 games so far, the city-based defender is on a roll.
"We are doing well as a team and I feel so much more confident now. It helps being part of such a big tournament like the Asian Cup. You get to play against the best in Asia.
"Mumbai have a good chance of doing well this season. The team is gelling well and we have been able to click," Bose said.
Bose was asked if there was an instruction from Constantine - who resigned after the tournament - to play defensive in the final group game against Bahrain.
"There was nothing of that sort. We needed a draw to qualify, true, but the coach never told us to be defensive. The situation was such that in the second half, they were attacking repeatedly and we just did not have an answer. I thought we did well as a defensive unit but we failed to attack enough.
Bose backed the team, saying it was an inexperienced side with only Chhetri and Sandhu being part of the Asian Cup 2011 campaign before.
"We learnt from this Asian Cup campaign. It was a young team and it was a first for many. I thought we fought bravely and prepared well too. We can only get better from here."
Bose, a Pune FC academy product, signed for Churchill Brothers after graduating from the academy. He was snapped up by Bengaluru FC in the 2017-18 season and earned an ISL runners-up medal. He was also part of the team which won the Super Cup in the same season and was included in the tournament's dream team.
(Debayan Mukherjee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)