A few weeks back former Pune City winger Kean Lewis had blasted Ranko Popovic as he felt that the former Stallions' coach harshly singled him out after every loss last season.
"When the games began, we had a shaky start to the tournament. For some reason, he started blaming me for the losses. And the weird part was he never picked on anybody else. If we closely analyse, we find that in the first game, other players made mistakes and we lost the tie. Even the goal that we conceded against Chennaiyin FC, he didn't blame the player who was marking Henrique Sereno but blamed me saying that if I had moved quicker, I would have got to the ball first," Lewis had told Goal.
On Wednesday after it was announced that Popovic had stepped down as the head coach of Pune City. When Goal contacted the Serbian to seek his reactions, he said,"He had a problem with his fitness. I only wanted him to get better. Sometimes you need to wake up your players. I wanted that to be his motivation. If you don't take criticism then you don't improve."
"When a coach becomes harsh with a player, he does that with only positive intentions. He sees in him potential and he wants him to use that. He should work closely with his team-mates for the betterment of the team," Popovic explained why he was tough on Lewis.
Lewis made only seven appearances in the latest edition of ISL, clocking a mere 207 minutes in which he could not even register a shot on target. But the Thane-born winger has already signed for Bengaluru FC for the 5th edition ISL, having agreed to a one-year deal.