David Booth, who has taken over from Karim Bencherifa at Salgaocar FC, stated that he has yet to meet his team as yet and will not be on the bench when they face Mumbai FC at the Balewadi Sports Complex, Pune on Saturday.
“I have only met Mr. (Raj) Gomes and the chairman (Shivanand Salgaocar) as yet and haven’t met anyone as yet. I will be meeting them this afternoon in Pune,” Booth told Goal.com.
“Usually when I go anywhere and start, I spent two or three days, sitting back and watching them on how things go. But this is just an opportunity for me to see them in a game. I will probably learn more by watching them play instead of watching a couple of days training,” he added.
It was at the end of 2009-10 season when Booth last coached in India with Mahindra United and since then he has taken up three jobs.
“I was with the Laos national team and that was okay. We reached the AFF Suzuki Cup finals (in 2010). Then I joined a team in Thailand where I had some payment problems but that’s all finalized now and that’s okay. I went to Phnom Penh Crown in Cambodia. We won the league and got to the finals of the AFC President’s Cup (2011). So it’s been quite successful really, it’s been quite good,” he mentioned.
On being asked as to what enticed him to come back to India, Booth said, “When I was at Mumbai FC and Mahindra United, we played Salgaocar a number of times and I quite liked the way they run their club. They seem quite respectful and gentlemanly. I also thought that it would be a good opportunity to also come to Goa as well.”
Booth at Esan United
Booth also opined on the state of Indian football and believes that India need to play against higher ranked nations.
“I just feel they have got to not make mistakes now. They (India) should be able to step up to the plate and play against stronger teams. They have got to get their structure right and they have got to get everything right. Quite frankly, my main problem is I do well with Salgaocar, the rest is for people to look after,” he opined.
The former Esan United coach is an advocate of the ‘pass-and-move’ brand of football but added that for Indians to adapt it does it difficult due to the absence of strong grass-roots programme.
“You have to try though, otherwise you will get caught out and you will not be there where you want to be. I think it’s right to do the infrastructure and development, you have got to do in the correct manner.
"A lot of players in the national team didn’t do that (come up through age group teams). I think it’s important that the ones coming through must have their basics right. I think it’s correct to play good football. I have always tried to do that and never advocated long ‘boom-boom’ football. So my mind is in similar style to that,” he signed off.
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