‘For things to change you need time’ – Air India coach Naushad Moosa

The Airmen’s coach felt his side played well, but rued the lack of decisiveness in the final third…
Mumbai FC ran out 3-1 winners against Air India in the Mumbai derby, thanks to goals from Haroon Amiri, Yusif Yakubu and Abhishek Yadav. Mumbai FC dominated the proceedings, and should have scored more, but they somehow failed to finish off all their chances.

Air India coach Naushad Moosa conceded that a lack of cutting edge in the final third led to his side's defeat.

What was surprising was the fact that Ezeh Henry was on the bench for the visitors. When questioned if he could have started with the Nigerian and if the overall performance was a bit disappointing, Moosah opined, "The first half was disappointing given the way the boys played. In the second half, (there was a) problem with finishing off our chances. Actually, Henry has an ankle injury, that's why I couldn't start with him. He was telling me, (that) he could play atleast one half. So I would prefer him in the second half, because the because if I started with him you know, he could have tired or something. That is why I kept him for the second half."

Air India conceded all the three goals from crosses, and though they did dominate in midfield, chances were at a premium. Moosa also felt that his side failed with their game-plan of preventing Mumbai FC from launching crosses into the box and mentioned, "Yes, from the beginning, I had been telling them (to) avoid crosses, and the same thing happened. (Yes), we lacked the final ball. That was the biggest problem for us. So we have to work on that. I'm not getting enough time. We have got a few matches (in a row), and I am not able to change things. If I start changing things, players will get confused, so that is the problem.”

“For things to change you need time, a coach needs time (too), to change things. I am worried about that," added the Air India coach

Even though Air India's results have not improved under him, the former Mumbai FC youth coach considers this as a good learning curve. He said, "There is always a bad and a good phase, so this is where I start learning now. There are many things I can learn from this match, or previous matches, because before this job, I was with a junior team, and in the first year (with them) I had problems. But thereafter, I kept on winning.”

“So, I am with the senior team now, these few matches I am learning, and I hope to get better."

Moosa, who formerly coached Mumbai FC's youth side, also gave Goal.com an insight on the difference between managing an age-group side, compared to a senior team. He explained, "The seniors, to change their style, takes a lot of time. I am not getting time to change their style, the way they are thinking. They have been playing in one style, so that is a problem. (About) junior players, you can keep moulding them.”

“I can make them (youngsters) adapt. My (young) defenders can play as a striker. The kids want to learn more. Here the problem is that they already have a mindset, (and) that is the problem," he continued.

Air India, with the result against Mumbai FC,  lie just above the drop zone. The coach though, refused to  talk about the relegation battle, claiming that they are trying to work on one match at a time.

"I will take it one match at time. I am thinking about Mohun Bagan now. Against East Bengal, the team did well. So we will have to work on the final pass. Micky (Fernandes) is playing well. They are doing everything right except the final pass, and that (is an issue) that I will have to work. I have 2-to-3 days time, so let us work on that," Moosa concluded.

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