The 39-year-old terms the draw against United SC as a "good come-back" while he backed his side to carry forward the momentum...Shillong Lajong FC held United Sports Club to a 1-1 draw in a round five encounter of the I-League 2013-14 that took place at the the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Meghalaya, on Saturday evening.
Thangboi Singto, the Shillong Lajong coach, felt that his side had enough chances to score more goals and take three points.
"We (Lajong) would have been happier with three points," he said. "That's what I've been saying all along. You create chances and you don't score...I think [from] the chances we got today, if we would have scored three or four...but again, I think it's a good come-back for us."
He continued: "I can see the energy. I can see the fluidity in the game. The confidence is coming up. Maybe after the Dempo win in the first match, we start to think that we are good, then that's wrong in a professional sports. That [0-4 loss to East Bengal] was a wake-up call and I'm very happy with the performance of everyone."
With the team failing to find the breakthrough in the first half, Singto called for a consistent performance and backed his men to carry forward the momentum.
"As a coach, you want to have a consistency for 90 minutes. Today I think we showed a lot of belief and character. That is very important. It's not going to be easy ahead, but we'll keep on working and we'll try to take this momentum forward for the next game," he stated.
"When you play in the top league in India, all the players know what their job is. Sometimes players need that sort of motivation in terms of talk or words. Sometimes we have to be a little bit harsh on them also. But I think whatever we planned on the board, they did well," the Lajong tactician added.
The gaffer from Manipur revealed his half-time pep-talk and lauded his defensive citadel against the might of United SC's star-studded front-line.
"The thing is that, first you have to enjoy yourself and have confidence in yourself. If you lose confidence before the start of the match, then you ready to lose. So I told the boys to enjoy the game. You attack as a team and you defend as a team for 90 minutes.
"It's always difficult to play against the calibre of Ranti Martins," Singto admitted. "He's the top scorer in India in the last three years. I think our defense did quite well. We could have done better against the goal scored by Eric [Brown] - he's a one-footed player but he's very good."
Lajong have their next face-off against Mumbai FC in Pune on 23 October and have to travel back too Shillong for their weekend fixture against Churchill Brothers on 27 October.
"This has been the problem for Shillong teams. Now Rangdajied [United] has come, so I think they will face the same problem that we have been facing. Long journeys takes a toll on the players. You think that you can recover, but the recovery doesn't happen [quickly]. So when you're going for a match after long travel, it affects the game, but we try our best," he mentioned.
The Lajong coach also revealed that Seikhohao Tuboi was on the verge of joining another club before he was convinced to sign an extension with the Reds of the north-east.
"He (Tuboi) was supposed to leave for another club but I told him, 'You helped Shillong Lajong to get promoted [back] in the I-League'. Of course, one year in injury and one year out of form. I think we're starting to see some spark in his performance. I give credit to our medical staff [for Tuboi's recovery]. That belief is there and hopefully we'll see his best yet. He's not at his best yet."
As Tuboi is known for his long throw-ins, like the one that Cornell Glen scored the equaliser from on Saturday, Singto added, "That is an added weapon that we have."
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