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After his team suffered a 0-2 defeat at the hands of Sporting Clube de Goa, the Australian coach defended his team's performance...

Pailan Arrows lost to Sporting Clube de Goa 2-0 in a round 20 I-League match at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata. The game witnessed the young developmental side of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) losing the plot in the second half, though they had a few chances to score before the break.

With the I-League coming to a halt for a month, Arthur Papas opined that it would help his side recover in time for the rest of the season.

"The break is a good thing. This will provide us with the necessary rest. It is always difficult for a bunch of young players to play continuously for a season. This is not something they have done for years. So, I think this will give us the chance to start afresh. We will prepare to have a good last leg of the league," he said.

When asked if he was disappointed about the result, the coach remarked, “Nobody gets happy after losing a match. But you have to also count the positives. Overall, for a large portion of the game, we were the better side. We had a few good chances also. Though we had problems in the final third, I am happy with the overall performance. It’s the little lapses of concentration that cost us the game. But they are all young players and I hope they keep improving.”

According to the Australian, Pailan Arrows have created numerous goal scoring opportunities in each game this season but have failed to convert them.

“We had created chances in almost every game. You can’t point out a game where we failed to impress. Same thing happened in the last week’s fixture against East Bengal. We had kept them under pressure till the last minute. But, the difference, I guess is the quality, especially in the final third.”

Papas also denied that there is any fitness problem in the team. He said, “We fought till the last minute in our previous game. Also, against United Sikkim, we scored with only three minutes to go. Similar was the case today, only the circumstances were different. If it was 0-1, we would have pushed further in the last few minutes for the equalizer, but when we went 2-0 down and there was little hope left.”

The 32-year old will spend this break joining RKC Waalwijk, a top tier side of Eredivisie, the National league of Holland. “I have to learn more. I am going to join a Dutch side in the meanwhile. I must keep improving myself just like the boys are trying. That’s the way it works.”

Pailan will kick start their campaign against Mohun Bagan on 23rd March.

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