‘It was heartbreaking, but we’re going to keep working’

Interim Coach Naushad Moosa Spoke About His Side’s Draw Against Hyderabad FC, Leon Augustine’s Performance, Defensive Frailties And More…

On letting a two-goal lead slip…

It’s heartbreaking, of course. We conceded two goals in four minutes, and for me, that’s unacceptable. The players showed a lot of character the way they played, they kept the ball well and were defending well until the final minutes. But that’s what we have been struggling this season, switching off early and giving away easy goals. But we’re going to keep working on this and we’ll look to get back on the pitch and focus on the next game.

On Leon’s performance…

Leon [Augustine] is a youngster and I had a chat with him before the game. I had a feeling that he would score because of the way Asish [Rai] and [Akash] Mishra overlap, it was one area where I was looking to take advantage. He did well to get to the ball and that goal will add to his confidence. It’s very important for a young player like him to score or assist. He always said that he wanted to score, and today he did just that.

On his side’s defensive issues…

I wouldn’t say the team switched off, it’s just that we weren’t one hundred percent attentive. We could have been there, blocking those long passes and that was the only thing. We need to analyse where the defensive lapses start from and not who makes the mistakes at the end. We will be looking into it and we will work on it.

On the lack of fitness contributing to the mistakes…

I don’t think fitness is a problem for us. It is just that we have to be more cautious, especially in the final minutes. We were being casual, whereas you have to stay serious till the final whistle. The players have been doing well, it’s not like they had a bad game last night. It was just those small moments at the end that undid all the good work we did until that point.

On Juanan’s availability for the East Bengal game…

Juanan has a hamstring problem and we need to see how serious it is, but it looks bad and he could be out for the next match. We will miss Erik [Paartalu] also, after he picked up a suspension. They are two important players for our team and we’ll have to see how we can change things ahead of the next game.