ISL 2018-19: FC Pune City's Pradhyum Reddy - No update on new coach

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Stallions are missing several key players for the ATK game....

FC Pune City, who are still winless three games after sacking former manager Miguel Angel Portugal, stay rooted to the bottom of the 2018-19 Indian Super League (ISL) table.

They pay a visit to former champions ATK on Saturday. Interim head coach Pradhyum Reddy will take charge of the side in the last of his four games as a caretaker manager. He was unaware as to who would succeed him. 

"No update at the moment. We will first see the next match then there will be a decision probably during the (international) break on what's going to happen after that," said the Scotland-born coach on the eve of the game.

"We have had a poor start to the season and probably it is a continuation from last season too. If you look at the last streak of the (previous) season, we were winless and we didn't rectify it in the pre-season and it spilt over to this season as well. We need to rectify it sooner or rather than later," he shared the reason for his team's poor start. 

"Defence is a concern. I came in after the first three games and there were a lot of issues to rectify. One of them was lack of goals. Only one goal in three games. We tried to rectify that. We scored 5 in the last three games. The first games had -5 goal difference whereas the last three had -4 (GD)," he further pointed out.

"But it is still not where we would like to be. In the last match, we were pretty organised defensively in the first half. But at this stage of the league, when confidence is not the highest you see (concede) one goal and the heads drop and it becomes a snowball effect with silly goals and individual errors."

Pune City are without the suspended duo of Marcelinho and Diego Carlos. Moreover, Marko Stankovic is injured.

"Diego (Carlos) is still suspended along with Marcelinho. (Marko) Stankovic is not available due to an injury. We are missing three foreign players and if you see we have had six different goal-scorers this season and we will be missing three of them tomorrow. Ours is not the ideal situation to be in.

Marcelinho Pradhyum Reddy FC Goa FC Pune City ISL 5

"I think in a normal situation we would have been happy with a point but given our position in the league, we have to go for three points. We need to have a positive outlook and try to get three points as that would allow us to move forward."

This will be Pune City's last before the ISL pauses for the international break. "The break is something that we are looking forward to because it will be our fourth game in 14 days. We would like to train with the team for 14 days straight to rectify some of the issues collectively and individually.

"I think our defending as a team improved in certain aspects since the Kerala game but the individual errors are still there. The break will allow us to work on these. But at the same time, you lose your players during these breaks.

"We will lose four Indian players and some of them are key figures. Although there is a transfer window too, it will be too late."

In Pune City's and ATK's last five meetings, the Maharashtra side have registered three wins and a draw but Reddy is not one to revel in history. He said, "In the ISL, history doesn't necessarily mean everything because every season you get new players and coaches.

"As regards to playing against ATK, we came here the previous season in a similar situation that is after losing a game. Then we won 4-1 over here and it turned our season. The boys who played here will have fond memories of the match and we hope to see thing something similar."

When asked if it was the right time to play ATK, who themselves are only 7th on the league table, Reddy replied, "They are probably thinking the same about us as well."

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