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The English coach acknowledged that his side needs to improve and highlighted the need to stop opposition from sending in crosses...

Salgaocar FC find themselves in the relegation spot after nine rounds of matches in the I-League and have just a point more than bottom placed ONGC. While they still have the third best defensive record having conceded just 13, scoring has been a problem given that they have found the back of the net only on seven occasions, the worst in the league.

David Booth certainly has his hands full and after the 2-1 defeat to Dempo SC and was quite honest in his assessment of the performance put in by his boys.

“In the first half, we did quite well and gave it as much as we got. It was a soft goal (scored by Rohan Ricketts) really. It was one of those square crosses that gets cut out and they score.  For 10 minutes after that we were in disarray and they started to control the game,” said Booth.

“In the second half, I thought we were doing okay. We were doing fine and then, I don’t know how many times they had the ball in that far corner and twisting and turning they still managed to get the cross in. We didn’t defend that very well either. So, we’ve got a lot to learn,” he mentioned.

The former Mumbai FC boss also spoke of his side not being lucky to get away with a few mistakes they have made in the last few matches.

“The boys have got to understand and we’ve worked hard. But, how many times do you keep saying ‘we didn’t deserve to lose.’ But as long as you keep making mistakes, you get punished for them. We need a couple of mistakes where we get away with it, we haven’t got that.

You can’t afford to make mistakes. The hard work is there, the play is there especially the second half where we really went at them,” he said.

Salgaocar FC’s full-backs and wingers haven’t been at their best, something which has been an area of strength over the past couple of seasons, and as a result the wide players of the opponent have it easy against them.

“They had the ball in the corner for a long time and we should have closed it down and not allowed the cross. In the end they got the cross (by Ricketts) in and got the goal (scored by Ryuji Sueoka’s). The ball must have been there for 4-to-5 seconds and they still got the cross in. We have got to stop crosses,” he observed.

Booth was pleased with his team’s performance but added that they need to get the basics right.

“It’s because, you know, we’ve been talking to the boys. They’ve played a hard 5 games and we‘ve been a little unlucky in most of the games.  I thought we played quite well, put some good pressure on them (Dempo), far better than the last game I thought.

“But, again we just lack that professional instinct. Like at the far post, our player was stopping him from jumping to score the header (instead of out jumping him to win the ball). These are professional things you know. We’re too naive.

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