United Sikkim coach Nathan Hall, having lost at home to Prayag United, was not at all sceptical about his team's chances of staying up as the end of the season approaches.
"The performance was outstanding. The commitment was outstanding. You look at them (Prayag’s side) they’ve got a lot of big name players, national team players, well known Indian players and you look at my side, we’ve got a lot of young players, a lot of inexperience but if this was your first I-League match, you’d think we were the better team," Hall spoke proudly of his team's efforts against Prayag United.
He continued, "But at the end of the day, it doesn’t give us any points. So my assessment is that the performance was a very good, work ethic was top class. The commitment, the attitude, the desire was fantastic from the first minute till the end. They (Prayag United) really had (probably) just two chances, in the first half - the goal and in the second half, the ball (which) went to the far post and Ranti Martins missed that volley. So we limit arguably the best team in India, probably the most in-form team to just two chances in 96 minutes. So that side of things is very pleasing, but of course some disappointment with the outcome."
Specifically mentioning the importance of having lost three points. Hall looked to be in a bitter state given that his team failed to break the Prayag back-line.
"The game was vitally important for our team and our season but unfortunately again (we lost). Everything was fantastic except the fact that we couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net. So my assessment is, like I said, very happy with everything except for the outcome which is bitterly disappointing," Hall said.
"It doesn’t matter if we play Prayag or Air India or Salgaocar or Dempo. We are always going to go out there and attack and try and create and do our best to pick up maximum points. Especially in front of our spectators because I am not the sort of coach that lives on my knees, I’d rather die on my feet. That’s the way I’ve been raised and that’s the way I like to play. I am really proud of my players."
Hall believes firmly in his young side and has been over seeing some massive improvements in the past months.
"The improvements in their games individually and collectively have been phenomenal. You can see from the team I took over from 5 months ago. It's jut really harsh for me and for them that we’re just not finding the net more consistently because we deserve a lot more than what we’re getting. I know that (when) we play the Air India’s, the Salgaocar’s the Sporting De Goa’s and play like that, hopefully we get a bit more luck. It’s still not over. Air India lost at the weekend. As long as it’s mathematically possible, we will keep turning up everyday and practice and give our 100 %, try and give our best to win matches."
"Against Air India, if we play with that same spirit and we move the ball like we did, we’re going to get chances and we’re going to score goals, I believe that," concludes Hall.
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