Shillong Lajong put up a tepid display, as they slumped to a 4-1 loss against Mumbai FC at the Balewadi stadium in Pune.
Desmond Bulpin was scathing in criticism of his own side’s physical approach to the game, as in the post-match conference he revealed, “Well in the first half, we spent half an hour just kicking their players, which is stupidity, especially considering our poor record of conceding goals from set-pieces this season. If you are stupid enough to blatantly kick their players, you shall concede free-kicks and we failed to deal with them.”
“In the second half our higher level of fitness meant we had the upperhand and when we got one goal back, I thought we could win the tie. However we yet again conceded from a set-piece and it was just not acceptable,” the former Indian Arrows coach continued.
“In fairness, Mumbai FC were the better side, but we did not help our cause by constantly fouling the opposition. We could even have had two red cards! We are a small side bar the two foreigners and Mumbai FC are a big side, and they used the free-kicks to their advantage.”
The coach then went on to praise the ground at the Balewadi stadium, as well as the training facilities of Pune FC, before taking a swipe at the Prayag United management.
“I have to complement the conditions in Pune. The ground is top class, and we also got to practise at Pune FC’s training ground, which is a well built facility. More clubs should follow the example of Pune FC. Unless we play on such type of grounds and have proper training facilities, Indian football cannot progress.”
“Also they have stuck with the same coach, which is a good thing. Look at Prayag United. It is unbelievable they sacked the manager when the side was doing so well. Clubs need to stop sacking their managers all the time. Look at Sir Alex Ferguson. He was two days away from the sack at Manchester United, but they persevered with him. And 26 years on, he has won everything with the club,” Bulpin concluded.
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