The recipient of the best coach of the year award for last season slammed the officials at the Indian FA for not scheduling the games fairly...
BY ANSELM NORONHA Follow @apnoronha on twitter
Salgaocar FC coach Derrick Pereira hit out at the scheduling of the I-League by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) after his side had to play two matches in the space of four days.
The Green and Whites had a 14-day break following their 1-0 win over Churchill Brothers but thereafter faced the Mohammedan Sporting challenge where they truimphed 3-0 last Sunday before being held to a 1-1 draw by Dempo SC on Wednesday.
"I think the AIFF's planning went wrong. The AIFF's fixtures went wrong. I'm happy that we got a point. It would have been disappointing if we had to lose this match after playing so well in the first half," Pereira said.
"We should have finished those chances that we had in the first half, but then I expected a fall in form in the second half. Playing a match on Sunday and [with] just two days between two tough matches is tough on the players. Playing at 4 o'clock is hard on the players, but I'm happy that we at least got one point," he added.
Despite the cramped schedule, the Salgaocar mentor claimed that his fitness and training staff tried their level best, but mentioned that he expected his players' fitness to get affected against Dempo.
"We prepared ourselves. We tried our best to get the players in full fitness before this match and as expected our fitness went down - that's because of the previous match," he pointed out.
Asked about his team's battle at the top of the table, Pereira quipped, "I will see the table at the end of the league. I was happy with the first half performance. I expected Dempo to come hard at us. We controlled the proceedings well, the midfield played well and the strikers worked hard to get in the box. A little better understanding and finishing [between the strikers] and we could have won this match."
Salgaocar FC will travel for their first away game of the season as they are scheduled to face Mumbai FC in Pune on October 18.
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