Santosh Kashyap is a pleased man as ONGC are placed eighth in the league after round 14 as they downed a hapless Pailan Arrows side 3-0 at the Ambedkar stadium, Delhi on Saturday.
Pritam Kotal scored an own goal as early as in the sixth minute and ONGC’s lead was doubled at the half hour mark by Eric Brown. Lalnun Puia, who was one of the changes made by Kashyap from the last game, reinstated his coach’s trust by being on the score sheet after the hour mark.
“The boys are growing on confidence with each game. Once you go up in the league table, the belief in your abilities automatically goes up too,” said Kashyap.
Eric Brown was sent-off in the 68th minute and this was yet another instance of an ONGC player given the marching orders in the I-League this season.
“Yes, we are getting too many red cards and it is a case of making too many silly mistakes like losing temper. I hope we improve in this regard and avoid being in a disadvantageous position,” he mentioned.
Kashyap has altered ONGC’s formation to a 3-5-2, which he used during his time at Air India, from 4-4-2 and it has certainly paid dividends as the side have just conceded one goal in three outings after having given away 26 goals in 10 matches.
“The formation has helped curb the mistakes in defence to some extent. We have managed to keep two clean sheets and this formation allows us to attack too. We should have won the game against United Sikkim too but their goalkeeper (Yoon Tae) was at his best and deservedly won the man of the match award. In the last game against Arrows, we didn’t have Robin Gurung due to a hamstring problem and we handed in a debut to Waheed Sali who performed very well,” he explained.
ONGC next face East Bengal at the Ambedkar Stadium and Kashyap praised the Kolkata giants but added that his team wouldn’t get overawed by them.
“The game against East Bengal will be a tough one. But we will play our brand of football and not look to be defensive. They are one of the strong title contenders. One set-back for us is Eric is suspended and we hope that Gurung can be fit for the tie.
“The temperature is Delhi is close to 0 degree Celsius but I don’t think that will have affect them. I think they are a top team and are capable to play in all conditions with their experienced players. Besides in Kolkata also, the temperature is cold and hence I think they can adjust to the conditions here,” he signed off.
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