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The Pune FC gaffer has urged other team's to shirk the defense mentality they find themselves in, coos about his team's home support...

Mike Snoei has opined on what he believes is one of the tripping stones of I-League teams, while highlighting the various facets of his squad including the plethora of Under-23 talent he has with him at his disposal, most notably Thongkhosiem Haokip. 

Asked about his teams style of play compared to others and if there should be more attack minded coaches in the I-League, Snoei replied, “I see so many teams playing football like this, parking the bus on the sixty meter line and it’s so difficult to break this wall. So we tried to play an attacking game, with full backs and overlapping winger, with guys who wanted to participate even without the ball. So it doesn’t surprise me on these teams’ tactics.

“All of them play very defensive. I saw Shillong (Lajong) play like this with 25,000 spectators in the stadium. We must give something to Indian football and then we improve the quality. But I see so many teams playing defensively. Unbelievable.”

On being questioned on how it felt after playing his first game at home, Snoei said, “I am new here so I was looking forward to play at home especially after having played two away games. The physiotherapist (Tariq Shaikh) always tells me a lot about what we are doing and how we go about achieving what we want to achieve. So what we want is a little more. And as I specified in my interview at the beginning of the season, we play with young guys, in a very offensive line-up to draw the crowds. So we did well.”

The buck passed on about how Hoakip, the north-eastern striker, was getting along at in the big time and Snoei remarked, “Haokip is a very fantastic forward player, one of the few Indian players who always comes to me to ask how he can improve and I like that. I try to achieve with the players such that they know exactly how they can improve and become an I-League striker.There were some good decisions from him but also some bad ones, like when I wanted him to pass the ball but he ran too much with it.

"But he is a good forward who will remain Pune FC striker for many years to come and I told some people from our club that we probably needn’t contract any foreign player for the club as we have Haokip, our own striker. But probably a new midfielder or winger,” forecasted the Dutchman, seemingly making up his mind to capture a foreign, recruit in the positions he wanted.

On being asked about his training methods with players like Haokip and other young players, the Dutchman explained, “He learns a lot as he trains against Raul (Fabiani), against Anas (Edathodika) against Calum (Angus) in the first team. So this is the biggest advantage, as he’s become very good now, training with the big boys for three odd months. The same for Salaam Ranjan (Singh), a fantastic central defender whose played for three months against the likes of Raul Fabiani and James Meyer. So to adapt to this level, we have to train constantly with the big guys. The same for Dhenechandra.”

“He’ll enjoy the win, share it with family and friends. But we start training all over again on Monday and he knows that. The papers go into the trash on Monday and we forget what happens in the past to focus on the future. We continue what we are doing as it is just the start,” said Snoei, on how Hoakip would enjoy his teams success as well as his first goal in the I-League side.

“The fans were fantastic. We could hear and feel them. They supported us even when we were at 0-0. Hopefully we can get a few more of them in the next game,” concluded Snoei on the home support mantra.


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