Mike Snoei: If you can win difficult games, you can win trophies

The Pune FC boss was relieved his side bagged the points, but was unhappy with his team's display...

Mike Snoei, Dutch coach of Pune FC, has expressed his dissatisfaction at his sides display in a 1-0 win over bottom of the heap Rangdajied United at home. Pune FC opened their account in the 29thminute thanks to a Calum Angus strike assisted by Douhou Pierre.

Thereabouts Rangdajied did try to stage some form of a comeback but the game slowly fizzled out towards the closing stages. The Pune FC coach opined that they were missing some key players besides feeling that his team lacked sharpness on the pitch.

“Well, the result was good. The game wasn’t good. I was away on personal business the whole weekend. However, the group lacked sharpness and weren’t fresh. I missed creativity in the team, with a lot of players behind the ball.

“We must look to ourselves, especially with (Anthony) D’Souza and Nikhil Kadam we can do much better. They moved well, but the final action wasn’t good enough. We have just started professional football and I believe we can do much better. My striker (Thongkhosiem Haokip) can do much better. So it wasn’t our best game our best performance.”

Questioned on his team’s dearth in the striking department, with James Meyer out with injury and Raul Fabiani having his contract cancelled due to an abductor injury, Snoei agreed whole heartedly.

“I do think that I’m sure. The healthy situation is that you can bring on a young striker like (Thongkhosiem) Haokip towards the fag end of the game and let him play twenty minutes or so, but now he must start every time and there is immense pressure on him, not from us but from the outside.

“Our new striker (Mustapha Riga) is here. He can start next week. I was hoping he could start today, but the papers weren’t ready. The papers weren’t finalised yet as the people responsible don’t work on Saturday and Sunday. So we couldn’t get the papers processed.”

The coach said that he was keen to ensure that the squad remains vitalized in the face of a few tough encounters that await the red Lizards in the near future.

“Oh, this will happen, but I’m here now. I can work on my own program. The week was chaotic and something changed. I’m also responsible for what happened today but we are a very good group. But as you saw today we missed four or five players. Meyer (James) and Ganesh (Dhanapal) and I think we have something’s to improve.”

The coach praised the effectiveness of the wingers, namely Nikhil Kadam and Anthony D’Souza, yet lamented the quality final ball put in by either two. “They did the difficult bits well. The movement, the control all was well yet the easy part - the final ball wasn’t effective enough. We will continue to improve. I love these players, I’m crazy about them, we will continue with these guys but today they weren’t good enough. I’m an honest coach and they weren’t effective enough.

“Douhou (Pierre) can play ten balls between the players and let the winger run to the backline, but then I want an effective cross. This is where we must improve. I’m happy we have an excellent bunch of young players. Nikhil played a few games last year, he used to come on as a substitute. Yet now he’s an important player. So we are patient with these guys.”

Asked his thoughts on grinding out a result on off-days like this he said, “This is what I told the players. If you can win these games and we will have a few of them over the course of the season. When things are not going well, and you come away with a win, then you can play for the trophies and this is what we also want.

“We are very ambitious. We brought on (Fanai) Lalrempuia at a difficult juncture in the game. Not because he’s young but because he’s good and one of India’s most prospective and biggest talents. We had pressure on ourselves, Mumtaz  (Akhtar) wasn’t doing well anymore so we brought on Puia. I don’t care as there isn’t pressure on these guys. There’s pressure on Calum, Douhou and me, so it’s nice to work with them.”

Signing off, he praised the Pune crowd who turned up to cheer them on though he wished more people would show up. “The supporters, you need them. I think the crowd was thin as it was a lower placed team and it was a Sunday. But I’d like to see more supporters.”

How do you stay up with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.