Chennai boss Akbar Nawas praised Sergio Lobera’s team and believed that his team were handed a thorough footballing lesson. The Singaporean felt that his team gave Goa too much respect and allowed them to dominate the I-League champions.
“I think we gave them too much respect from the first half. We sat too deep. This has got to do a lot with immaturity and inexperience. It was a good learning experience for all the players. FC Goa gave us a good footballing lesson. We should now strive to play like how they are playing, full credit to them.”
“We missed an experienced leader at the back who could help maintain the line or push it up higher. As you can see, when we play in the I-League, our line is very high. It is almost near the half-line. So, playing today a little deep can mean two things – either we gave them a lot of respect or we had inexperienced players.
“With experienced players, we could have played a higher line. I think we did that in the second half. That’s the way we want to play and the boys have to learn. But we are not disappointed that we got out of this competition,” he said.
Nawas maintained that the team is not disappointed with the defeat as they had a good run in the league and exceeded expectations in the Super Cup.
“We had one hell of a ride in the I-League or even in the Super Cup. We didn’t even expect to go past Pune. It’s not easy to come back and restart the game when you have won something. FC Goa had unfinished business. If I was them, I would want to win something this season.
“It’s not easy to motivate the players after the I-League season, take a 10-15 day break and come to a competition where you are expected to do well. I think it was a good ride for the players. They showed that they can come up against the best.
“Sometimes you have to know that if you want to move on, these are the type of games you have to experience. If this team has to go up a level, they need to face teams like these almost every week. There are no shortcuts in football; you have to work for it,” Nawas concluded.