Interim boss Pradhyum Reddy felt that the failure to convert chances cost the team.
“It was obviously not the result we were hoping for. The idea was to try getting a goal from the very first minute, but we failed to take our chances. When you do that and the opponents take their chances, you’re bound to lose matches.
“I think we failed to convert our chances. They scored from their first clear-cut chance after we failed to clear from the corner. They converted their third corner whereas we couldn’t convert similar set-piece chances. Robin (Singh) and Iain (Hume) had a couple of chances but the final pass or final touch was lacking. In the second half, we tried to pull ourselves back into the game but I think we failed to create clear-cut chances.”
Reddy is not concerned about how the defence fared. He was of the opinion that the Pune defence was well organised and the second goal was a result of pushing for an equaliser.
“The first goal came from a set-piece. We’ll have to look back and see where we went wrong. There were a couple of individual mistakes that led to a goal. I’m not concerned about the second goal. It came after 90 minutes and when you are pushing forward to get the equaliser, it doesn’t matter if you concede. Whether it’s 1-0 or 2-0, we still lose three points. So I think defensively we were well organised. We lacked goals today.”
Iain Hume – who just returned to the squad from a long-term injury – got his first start of the season and was substituted at half-time. This had more to do with protecting the player than tinkering with the tactics.
“Iain’s substitution was not a tactical one, it’s something we had to do keeping his rehabilitation in mind. Last game he played for 30 minutes and today he played for 45. We want to be careful with him so that we don’t lose him for 2-3 games.” The Indian coach also confirmed that Diego Carlos is nursing a hamstring injury he picked up in their last match and will miss 2-3 matches.
Despite the poor results, Pune are persistent on fielding a young team. Reddy emphasized on the need to provide youngsters with the opportunities and mentioned that the team will continue to give them chances.
“Irrespective of the opposition, we always try to give the younger players a chance, especially the ones who come up from our academy. Today we saw Sahil and Ashique take the field. Kamal and Nikhil were there too and Jacob also came on. We finished the game with five under-23 players. But it’s not because of the position we are in that we are doing it. We believe that the youngsters should get the opportunities because they are the future of the club.”