Sometimes you have to have that fight in you to be in the game – Pailan Arrows coach Arthur Papas

The Australian praised his side’s fighting spirit that saw them maintain their unbeaten run in the league

Pailan Arrows had all the luck as they managed to earn a point from the match against Salgaocar FC over the weekend. Such was the dominance from the home side that they struck the post at least on four occasions and yet couldn’t score a goal.

Arthur Papas, the coach of Pailan Arrows, praised his boys for their performance as they managed to remain unbeaten and are one of the four sides, namely Dempo SC, Prayag United and East Bengal, who haven’t been defeated in the league so far.

“I’m proud of them for what they have achieved,” he said, ”Sometimes it’s not about being pretty, sometimes you have to have that fighting spirit to be on the ground,” said Papas.

The All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) developmental side have made some progress this season but are yet far from playing the ‘pass-and-move’ brand of football, which they claim they do.

On being asked whether his team was set out to play for a draw, Papas claimed otherwise.

“We always played for a win,” said the Australian tactician.

“The thing was that we were playing a team who have a lot of quality and were playing at home for the first time this season, with a lot to prove as they have not started off well. So it was always going to be tough,” he added.

Papas didn’t think his side had the good fortune of escaping the tie with a point in a game where they hardly stitched together any goal scoring chance whatsoever and were pegged in their own half for most parts of the game.

 “In the last five minutes, my player gets booked for a dive, which was actually a bad foul. So I’d say they were lucky in that case. They hit the post and put us under a lot of pressure. But it still means that you have to fight and we did that very well today,” said Papas.

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