Delhi Dynamos started their sojourn in the Indian Super League (ISL) season four in some style as they downed FC Pune City 3-2 in an away game. They lead the game by three goals at one point before letting in two late in the tie.
Since then, the club has been on a downward spiral with defeats to Bengaluru FC (away) followed by NorthEast United and Jamshedpur FC at home.
Guyon Fernandez admitted that their last two losses at home were more down to mistakes committed by them as opposed to the opponent’s brilliance.
“I think we, in the last two games, gave the win to our opponents. It is not that they are such great teams or that we did not have a chance. We made mistakes and if you make mistakes, then you concede goals. We have to make sure to limit the mistakes and that we are the ones to be on the scoreboard.
“When you concede a goal in ISL, the opposing team is going to lay back, lay back, lay back and then you have to fight against a wall of defenders. It is then difficult to score. And because you are attacking all the time, they have a lot of chances to counter,” he explained.
The 31-year-old, who is the only other striker Delhi have in their ranks apart from Kalu Uche, reasoned that playing from the back has its advantages and disadvantages. He also backed coach Miguel Angel Portugal’s philosophy but was quick to admit that to implement and for it to succeed, each player has to do his designated job in the best possible manner.
“We play from the back and when you play from the back, it is a long way to the other goal. The opponents we had, they laid back and tried to counter or just played the long ball. Scoring goals is the most important thing to win a game but sometimes you are unlucky and things won’t go the way you want them to go. Still a long season and a lot of things can happen. I am sure we will get back the feeling from the first game we played.
“For me, personally, I like the coach's philosophy. I like teams who play from the back. As a striker, it is easier as you get the ball on your feet. You don’t have to fight with the defenders behind you. I think we have the players who can do this.
“But if you play from the back, you have to be very solid in what you do. If you don’t do this, you concede easily. The opponent is already pressing very high and so if you lose the ball, it is 30-40 metres maximum towards goal. We have to be aware of it and not take too many risks,” he elaborated.
Fernandez, who has played with the likes of Graziano Pelle and John Guidetti at Feyenoord, shared his thoughts on what his preferred position on the field is.
“It depends on the way you play. For example, if you play against a team who has the ball more than you have, I rather play on the wings because the striker don’t get a lot of balls then. But if you are the team making the game, then I like to play as a number nine or a 11,” he mentioned.
The Hague-born centre forward was withdrawn minutes after Delhi Dynamos conceded to Jamshedpur FC and he acknowledged that it was disappointing for him to be substituted.
“It is always disappointing to go off the field for every player. The coach made a decision and I have to live with it. He is the main responsible guy who makes the decisions. I hope to play as much as I can and help the team. That is the reason I came here for. I hope to win a match, that’s the only thing that gives me joy. A draw or a loss gives me a bad couple of days,” he replied when asked about his substitution.
Up next are FC Goa who they face this Saturday. Fernandez called for his team-mates to be aggressive on the field so that they take the initiative to win their first three points on home soil.
“I think we have to be confident. The coach told us a game-plan about how we want to do this. We see the dangerous points of Goa and also the points where we are not so good at. We have to focus and be aggressive. We are playing at home and they have to feel that the three points are staying in Delhi,” he signed off.