Mike Snoei, Dutch coach of Pune FC, reflected on a poor final home game loss to Dempo SC. Haroon Amiri scored twice in the first half for the visitors, before Dempo's victory was cast in stone thanks to the sending off of Gurjinder Kumar, who recklessly tackled Alwyn George despite being on a yellow card. Jeje Lalpekhlua added a third to the away team's advantage in the 90th minute.
On being asked about the fallout from the result Snoei expounded, “I’m disappointed with the result. But I’m more disappointed with the fact that we couldn’t give Venky (Shanmugham Venkatesh) the game he deserved as this was his last game in Indian Football. He’s 32 (factually 35) years old and at a fantastic level. He is also a good professional and a very good example for our young talented players.
“So, I apologise to him because I feel sorry. If you have to say goodbye to Indian football being a professional football player in this way, then you feel sorry for him. I can say ‘you were unlucky' to him but there’s no time for that.”
“We must look into the mirror. These are young players who must take their own responsibility and in the meantime I hope Venky can stay for the club as he can become a fantastic coach for the club and especially help with his experience in Indian football.”
The former Panathnaikos assistant coach blamed Gurjinder Kumar for being daft when he tackled George to get his second booking of the game.
“They had two set pieces with Amiri their foreign left central defender. Now, this happens in football. (Zohmingliana) Ralte was the man against Kitchee where he scored two goals. He was beaten by Amiri twice in a one against one. So Amiri scoring two goals was, in this case Ralte’s responsibility. The game was almost finished but still we still believed in it and tried to score to make it 2-1 but then Gurjinder took a very stupid second yellow card.
“I cannot believe a player can take a stupid yellow card such as this. When you know you’re on a yellow card and you make a tackle from behind, whilst you know you have players at the back and you’re in the opposition half, then you aren’t smart. That was a bad decision by Gurjinder. You can almost forget about bringing on an extra striker like Thongkhosiem (Haokip), because it’s next to impossible when playing with ten-men. That was disappointing as you want a different finish when playing in your last home game of the season.”
Pune FC finished seventh in the standings in a season where they started brightly and were expected to be in the top five.
“Not only me but the whole club took a big step while bringing six academy players and you will see that next year they will be much, much better thanks to the minutes they’ve played in the AFC and in the competition (I-League), so there is no doubt they will improve.
“You see with Lalrempuia (Fanai), when he came on, he is a player for the future. With all respect he came on for a player like Venky, so Puia can be the next Venky. They are same in a few ways - creative, loving to play forward. But also some other players will think ‘How can I develop better and more for the team?’ Because that is important.”
With Dempo choosing to retain ninety percent of their players for the 2014-15 season, Snoei stated he would meet Chirag Tanna, Head of Operations at Pune FC to chart the course.
“Yes of course. I have a meeting almost every day with Mr. Tanna about all these kind of things, regarding what we have to improve and how to build a team that is reliable. Many times this year it was nice, it was good but in football there’s always the matter of winning. Nice football though.
“Also today I saw many chances but no goals. So this is something we must look into - strikers or offensive players with good quality.”