ISL 2017: Injuries main concern for FC Pune City coach Ranko Popovic

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FC Pune City coach Ranko Popovic seeks positives after losing opening match against Delhi Dynamos at home...

Delhi Dynamos defeated FC Pune City 3-2 in their first match of the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Balewadi Stadium, Pune on Wednesday. Delhi Dynamos took a formidable 3-0 lead in the beginning of second half. The home side almost made a comeback by scoring two goals.

It was a poor start to Pune’s campaign as midfielder Jewel Raja had to leave the field within 20 seconds of kick off due to an injury. After conceding three goals Popovic was forced to bring in half fit Kean Lewis to bolster his attack.

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On why he did not start Lewis tonight, Popovic said, “Keane Lewis didn’t train with us much due to the injury so it was not possible to keep him in the starting XI. We must protect him, we cannot take the risk by fielding him. It is unfortunate that a player like him has to sit out. We do not have too many players in our squad who can replace him in his position.”

The coach was asked about Jewel Raja’s injury to which he replied, “I don’t know. We will see what has happened after consulting the doctor. He had a strain when he was warming with Alfaro. Alfaro told me that something has happened to Jewel. I asked him before the game in the locker room, he said he will try. Unfortunately, he could not play. I hope it is not serious. This kind of things happens.”

Even though they lost their opening game at home, Popovic seeked positives from the outing. “After conceding three goals, we scored two goals, this is something positive. I am happy because the players are trying. They have the energy, motivation to score the goals. After the half time we were shocked to concede the goals. We had to take the risks. Diego and Lewis came in. We had no other option. The only thing I was thinking was no other player should get injured. If we lose the game that’s fine but we could not lose any more players,” said the Pune gaffer.

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