Dempo coach Arthur Papas: Good players can adapt

The former Newcastle Jets assistant coach explained a few of his tactical decisions while he congratulated Shillong Lajong on their display..

GOALBY   ANSELM NORONHA     Follow @apnoronha on twitter

In Dempo's 0-3 loss against Shillong Lajong on Sunday, the Golden Eagles' coach Arthur Papas started with left winger Clifford Miranda on the right, while handing a debut to their under-23 player Mandar Rao Desai and deployed him on the left flank.

Quized on the same, the Australian replied, "We have given Mandar [Rao Dessai] his first I-League match. I think it's easier to put someone like him in his prefered position (left wing). He's very good on getting on the outside and I'm very happy with him.

"At the same time, it's just to have a little bit more flexibility when we're moving forward - Clifford [Miranda] likes to cut in and then Mandar likes to move on the outside. It makes it difficult for defenders as well. So I think good players can adapt," he explained, as the two wingers were made to swap positions in the latter part of the match.

"We need to be more clinical. You have to finish your chances," the 33-year-old reiterated. "I think if any team - you tell them before the game that you might have 12 clear chances throughout the game, I think you should say that you should end up winning that game. So the fact that we haven't been able to score - that worries me."

The forward duo of Billy Mehmet and Jeje Lalpekhlua were not able to unlock the Lajong defense, but Papas quipped, "Then also, the hardest part on the ground to improve is the front third because that involves a lot of communication, co-ordination and understanding of [playing] relationships. So that's still got to build.

He added: "In the Goa League, we never played with this eleven. That's the first time we played with this eleven. It's not an excuse, but it is a reality that this is the first time we played with this eleven and maybe in the A-League you could see that you don't have these issues."

A couple of Dempo players took to attack aimlessly as their shots were nowhere near the target. The coach disagreed that the team had lost heart, but accepted that his men showed signs of desperation.

"Desperation forced us to do things that maybe you should be a bit more composed and stick to what you're doing. Of course, the more and more games you get together, you're going to improve," said Papas.

"I said to them. I said 'Guys, the game's not over at three-nil' and what I did like is that even when we were down three-nil - I mean, the game's over with about five minutes to go, but we were still creating a lot of chances. So in terms of the unity, the team work was there and we just had a bad day.

"I want to obviously congratulate Lajong. That's important, because for them to come here and get three-nil, it's very impressive. No matter how you do it, it's three-nil. I congratulated them as well, because they had a game to play on the counter attack and worked well for them."

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