Little margins are the reason why we are out of the final: Cuadrat

The Boss Discusses A Tough Result At The Salt Lake Stadium…

On the game and a tough result…

Firstly, congratulations to ATK. I think that it has been one of the games that helps the growth of Indian Football with all the emotions and atmosphere surrounding it. Sometimes it has happened in our favour, like the great night in Kanteerava where all the supporters joined in the celebration and unfortunately tonight it wasn’t for us. It was for the ATK supporters to enjoy. Talking about the game, maybe it has not been one of those top-quality games, but a lot of things happened with a lot of tactics. Our plan was to get behind the central defenders with Ashique and Sunil and the plan was working and we were very close to score the second goal. We had very clear chances and at that moment of the game we had more clear chances than ATK. But sometimes little things change the game and I think that the penalty changed the momentum for ATK because at that moment they were not creating any chances and we felt quite comfortable in defence. We were making good counter attacks.

On if the penalty decision that changed the game…

We have seen videos before the game that ATK players have a lot of experience and they will try to make situations inside the box for penalties. I told our players to be aware, and it is a shame that our young 19-year-old player, Suresh, was in that situation and the referee whistled for the penalty. For me from the lines it was not (a penalty). But it is clear that when it is happening at 2-1 then it is that kind of moment where we have to try to protect the result because until the last moment, they are going to try to get to the 3-1. So, you saw we had really good chances at the end of the game. We had a very good chance with Frater, where he was 1v1 with the goalkeeper. Another very clear chance with Sunil heading on target.

On tactics after the penalty…

One of the possible scenarios was that we keep holding to the 2-1 scoreline where they push us for 3-1 till the last minute and another possible scenario was the one that happened. It was 3-1 for them and we were pushing for a goal, and if we would’ve scored with any of the chances we had, it would’ve been 3-2 and we would be in the final. We tried our best but unfortunately football is like this – a game of little margins. We are out of the Asia because of the penalty lottery and here we are out also for just one goal. If you see, my players, they put in a great effort. They have been working a lot throughout the season and sometimes in bad circumstances, like the situations that we arrive today, where we are creating a lot of chances but we are not scoring.

At the end it creates a dynamic which becomes difficult to break. If you see, maybe the game of today shows how unlucky we have been in the season. It is a game where if you have good finishing, you get to 0-2 and maybe 0-3 and game is over. It is a reflection of our season and unfortunately, we have not been so smart in front of goal like we have been in other seasons but it is part of football. It is little margins why we are out of the final and out of Asia. With a little bit of luck, with the same work that we have been doing, we would still be in both the competitions.