‘Happy for the players, they fought hard and gave their all’

Interim Coach Naushad Moosa Spoke About His Side’s Win Against SC East Bengal, Team tactics, Transfer Activity And More…

On the game against East Bengal…

To tell you the truth, I feel very happy for the players, more than for myself. They gave their best and fought till the last minute. It was nice to see that aggression and mentality. They stayed compact, went for the counter-attacks in the first half and tried to make the most of every opportunity we got and we were rewarded with two early goals.

It wasn’t a conscious move to sit back in the second half, we did want to play football our way. When it gets difficult to play those short passes and move the ball around, it is okay to play long balls behind the defence that Sunil [Chhetri] can get to. That is what we were looking for.

On the atmosphere in the dressing room…

The dressing room was very positive today. Everyone was smiling and that made me feel confident as well. They were not worried about the win or the loss, they just wanted to go out there and play.

On Parag’s performance…

I am really satisfied with the way Parag [Shrivas] played. Until now he played as a left-back and today he did a good job playing as a left midfielder. This is what we are looking for from the youngsters, to play in whatever position they have been told to and give their best all the time.

On Leon’s injury…

We still need to have a proper look at Leon [Augustine], he might have some trouble with his hamstring. We will know more once all the medical checks are done.

On Pratik’s performance…

I think the media misinterpreted my comments from a few days ago. I said he was having a problem adjusting with the team because we employ a more possession-based system, I did not say signing him was a bad move or that he doesn’t fit into my plans. What I did today was to ask him to play his natural game, just be happy and give his best. And I think that really worked for him and the team.

On Chhetri and Udanta’s positions…

This year, we have had a problem finding a proper striker up front. After that, the left wing was being exposed a lot. My main focus was to first block the left side and then having someone to hold the ball upfront. That’s where Sunil and Udanta [Singh] came in. Getting Sunil leading the line, having Udanta on the wings and Cleiton [Silva] working upfront has really worked for us so far.

On the transfer window…

We are happy with the current squad, which includes Xisco [Hernandez]. It’s true that we were looking for players, but those didn’t materialize. We have to play with the squad we have. There are five games left and we will stay positive without worrying about the points. We will go out and give our best in each game.