The coach of the north-easterners was relieved as his side won their first three points of the season, yet believes there is a lot of scope for improvement
Thangboi Singto, was relieved as his side stomped to three vital points away from home against Mumbai FC in a typically feisty encounter that had a mix of passion as well as fury as the game was marred by individual clashes all around, culminating in the sending off of Haroon Amiri from Mumbai FC.
Nevertheless Lajong’s style of play caused all sorts of problems for Mumbai who were torn apart by an in-form Cornell Glen. Singto was all praise for his side, who have now climbed from eighth to sixth in the table, but knows they have to improve defensively.
“On the whole I’m very pleased. But yes we can definitely improve defensive capability-wise. Firstly though, I’d like to congratulate my players. They came out strong and I think we have been saying that we haven’t converted our chances. But today, we created and converted proportionately but again we have to be sharper on our defending. That is an area we have to work on.”
Quizzed on his thought about Seikhohao Tuboi’s performance and what he contributed to his team from an overall perspective, the coach chose to opine, “In modern football, you attack and defend well as a team. If you’re good in attacking but poor in defending you’re going to concede a goal. That’s what I told my team to do and Tuboi stood out in doing that.
“When we had the ball and were attacking he was constantly involved and the same while our team was defending. I remember in 2009, when he played he was a revelation against East Bengal in the Federation Cup. Then he had an off colour season, coupled with an injury lay-off that lasted for about a year. I’m very though and happy for him as he’s come back. The last match he played well and I’m sure he’ll get better.”
Singto those chose to avoid controversy when questioned on the role played by his player in the red card shown to Haroon Amiri and also chose to remain mum when asked if he felt Anwar Ali should’ve been sent off as well for a suspected elbow in his player’s face as Mumbai FC lined up to take a corner in Lajong’s box.
“I have no comment on this issue. During the game many things happen. I don’t want to comment on the referees. They have a job to do and we expect them to do it well as the players want to give their best. I’m sure it’s how the referees want to do it too. Better refereeing will see a larger number of people to come and watch the game as well. So it’s a development for all.”
Finally he concluded by waving away questions regarding his teams progress for the rest of the season. “It’s too early to comment on that. We have a long, long way to go. We had a great win today, we have to keep working hard but I’d like to go one match at a time as I think that’s proper at the moment. Everything is good as I said and so we have to go steady and slow. We have to think about the next match and not for the future just yet.”
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