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The Australian praised Mumbai FC for making it difficult for his boys and also mentioned of the need for his side to penetrate when in possession...

Arthur Papas, the coach of Pailan Arrows was happy with the way his boys played after his side played out a 1-1 stalemate with the Mumbai FC in an I-League match.

“I thought we had a very good start of the match. The first 30 minutes were very good.  We had gone 1-0 up in that period. Overall, if we could one into the break with a 1-0 lead, it was ok. But we conceded a penalty with two minutes to go. Overall, I think we are improving as a team. We wanted to carry on from what we did against Mohun Bagan in the last sixty minutes and we did that,” Papas said.

He also hailed Mumbai FC as the home team made life difficult for the young boys of All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) developmental side.

“Mumbai FC turned out to be a very difficult team. They are physically very strong and played a direct game. Credit to Mumbai (FC). They made it difficult for us with the way they played,” he remarked.

The coach also informed that Deepak Devrani’s substitution was only a precautionary move. “He came back after a 3-month long injury break in the last match against Bagan. It is always difficult to follow it up with a game 5 days later. He is a very good defender and an important member of the team. So, I took him off only as a precaution.”

According to Papas, the young boys have improved with the season approaching its end. “The points tally does not look good but the team has got better. The problem is if you dominate a game, then you should learn to do something with that. There should be bit more purpose with the ball. And now at the moment we are working on how to penetrate a bit more. At times, we looked likely to score a goal. I am also happy with the inclusion of Len (Seminlen Doungel) . It’s all part of a learning process. Other teams also have the luxury to bring in new players. We don’t have that. Sporting Clube de Goa changed all their foreigners apart from one. United Sikkim changed all the foreigners. In our case it’s all about development,” He told.

Papas had announced after the match against Mohun Bagan that he will step down as the Pailan Arrows after the season. Among rumours that Papas may take charge at Pune FC next season, Papas refused to reveal much.

When he was asked whether he will be seen often at the Balewadi Sports Complex at Pune next season, he dodged the question intelligently by saying that, “Whenever you play an away game, you have to come here.”

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