Arthur Papas looked disappointed with his team’s commitment as a young Pailan Arrows side went down 0-3 against East Bengal on Sunday afternoon. His side were unable to cope up with the attacking football played by the Red and Gold.
“We were the second best side today. This is the worst performance from my side in this I-League. East Bengal should get the credits also for the beautiful game they have played today,” said Papas.
Such was East Bengal’s dominance that Papas conceded the fact that they were lucky enough not to digest a goal before the 43rd minute.
“Yes, we were lucky. Then had hit the post a few times and there were some goal-line saves. But you know, it is always frustrating to go one goal down just before the break. Only two minutes were left before the half time and had we not conceded the goal, we could have regrouped to become a better side in the second half,” he opined.
He also claimed that the second minute substitution of Deepak Devrani due to an injury made it hard for them to stick to their original strategy.
“A team always starts with a set game-plan. But the injury of Deepak messed up the plans. It was unfortunate for us. Also the substitute (Prathamesh Maulingkar) has to get mentally ready in a few minutes. He would have expected to join the action in the second half. It becomes hard for him also to perform under such a short notice,” he explained.
The Australian coach though seemed concerned about the commitment of the side as their desire to seal three points wasn’t on par or better than that of East Bengal.
“You should always look focused. East Bengal had more desire to win the team and it made the difference. They knew they were losing a few games and they had to get back to the winning track. They looked hungry to seal the victory. I have to work on the team’s mentality.”
According to Papas, his team was not far behind in terms of quality but the difference remained in terms of capitalising on the few chances that came their way.
“We also had a few chances. But one has to capitalize on that. They say Messi is the best player of the world because he can convert almost every chance he gets. These things can’t be taught by a coach. Robin’s (Singh) finishing was great. Our players have to learn from these mistakes.”
With 14 points from their 12 matches, Pailan have now lost three matches on trot. Papas hoped that they will try to bounce back to the form they had shown in the first few matches of the league when they face ONGC in New Delhi.
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