“We tried our best to come back after a bad start”

The Boss Spoke About His Side’s Draw Against NorthEast United FC And How The Blues Are Progressing With Each Game

On the game against NorthEast United…

We were working for the three points, we were trying our best to come back after a bad start to the game. We came back and were very close to taking all three points. We were creating a lot of chances. The team is improving step by step. I also have to congratulate NorthEast United, they were working very well in defence and executed their counter-attacking plan well. It was a nice game to watch.

Starting the game on the backfoot…

It was a slow start from our side. We had to spend around two hours to arrive at the stadium from our hotel because of some problems with the roads in Goa, and that’s not a normal situation for the players. So maybe that’s the reason why we started slowly but I do not want to give any excuses. It’s just the circumstances we have here with the bio-bubble. The team is getting ready step by step but we still need a few weeks to reach our best level.

On another draw this season…

Another draw is not a frustrating result because we were working for the three points, right from the first game against FC Goa when we went 2-0 up. We tried our best against NorthEast United too, by introducing Semboi Haokip and finishing the game with two strikers. We created a lot of chances and I think their goalkeeper was maybe the best player for NorthEast tonight. We are improving but I am expecting more from my players. We are improving, we are getting fit with more game time under our belt and that makes me happy.

On the fitness levels in the Blues camp…

Every player has his tempo, we need to understand that. I was a football player too and I needed time in pre-season to reach my peak. It is normal for everybody, they are working hard for the team and giving their best. The team will be really good in around two weeks. Right now we are still getting fit with each game, as you saw with Deshorn Brown and Kristian Opseth playing 45 minutes each.

On getting goals from set pieces versus open play…

I want my team to play and get four goals from open play every game. That’s my wish. But that doesn’t happen and that’s why we work on different things in the training. And we use only twenty minutes to train for set pieces. It is not like we work a lot of set pieces and we do not work on our tactics. Twenty minutes per week on set pieces, that’s all. They trust in the work we do, they do it well and we create a lot of chances. I must congratulate the players because what they do on the pitch is what we plan in the locker room.