The miseries keep on piling up for FC Pune City and they now find themselves winless after seven games. The latest outing being a 1-0 loss to ATK in Kolkata, their fifth of the 2018-19 Indian Super League (ISL).
Interim boss Pradyum Reddy focussed on the positives and maintained that his team did a good job despite what the result suggests.
“We are in a very tough position now, when you look at the league table. But there are still a lot of positives. Most teams in this league play with six Indian players and we play with six under-23 players. Some of these guys have graduated from our academy and I’m very proud of their performance. The boys were nervous to start with and made a lot of mistakes. But the improved over the course of the game and I’m proud of them.”
“When you concede a goal, you always need to check back and see where you made the mistake. When you rewind back the tapes you can probably see that we gave the ball very easily to ATK.”
Pune had their fair share of problems with fixture congestions and Reddy is pleased with the grit and determination his players showed to contain ATK for the majority of the game.
“Rather than shuffling the defence, we decided to keep faith in the current four. With 12 hours of travel and just one practice session to go with, we definitely faced some time shortage. The morale will be low after conceding four goals but the boys did well to restrict ATK to just shots from outside the box. The goal came from the only clear-cut chance they had in the second half and our boys upfront carved out a few chances too.”
Pune were without the services of Marcelinho and Emiliano Alfaro against ATK. The absence of such established goalscorers is influential but Reddy is pleased that the local boys stepped up and hopes that they deliver when called up in the future.
“We have scored six goals this season and we missed players who have scored three of those today. Obviously, it’s better to have proven goalscorers in our team. But it’s good for the young boys to get their chances. Nikhil (Poojary) had a good game today, Abhishek (Halder) had a couple of shots on target. Some of these boys will be in Constantine’s squad and this will be a good opportunity for them to step up.”