Arthur Papas, the Pailan Arrows coach, was a pleased man following his side’s 2-0 triumph over defending I-League champions, Dempo SC on Saturday evening at the Tilak Maidan, Goa.
“Tactically we had a really ambitious plan. We wanted to score a goal in the first ten minutes and we targeted their left side, which worked for us. We could have had 3 goals in the first ten minutes,” he said.
“The team has performed like this before as well, but has been on the wrong side of the results due to their finishing. We had given a similar performance the last time we met, but our finishing let us down that day,” he added.
The Australian mentioned that his side did commit a few mistakes and need to improve further.
“We probably thought we could go easy with ten men, which is probably the worst thing that you can do, but credit to Dempo who put us under a lot of pressure,” he duly praised his opponents’ effort to get back into the game.
Papas acknowledged the fact that players whose contract were to come to a close will look for a move away and hailed the improvement Deepak Devrani and Vishal Kumar have undergone under his tutelage.
“If I were the head coach of an I-League club (other than Pailan Arrows), I would be speaking to them right away (for next season). It (Pailan Arrows) is a youth development squad and some players have now been here for three years. It’s important for the young players to now go on and experience what the senior squad is all about,” said the 33-year old.
The former Newcastle Jets assistant coach has been linked with a move to Dempo SC and Pune FC while an offer to coach India’s age-group sides from the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is also amongst the mix.
“I am currently only thinking about the club, and focusing on giving 100% to the players here. They deserve that and I haven't currently thought about my own future,” he responded when queries on his plans next season.
Pailan Arrows, being a developmental side, are exempt from relegation and Papas wants his side to finish above the bottom two but highlighted an important fact.
“Yeah, of course. That is really important, but I don’t really look at the table. If you compare it with last year we’ve already scored more goals, won more games. Success is watching the improvement in their play. You know, that’s what I look and that these guys are coming on alright,” he said.
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