Punjab FC head coach Staikos Vergetis admitted individual mistakes due to pressure cost them the game against reigning champions Mohun Bagan Super Giant at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata on Saturday.
Mohun Bagan Super Giant defeated the new entrant by 3-1 to kick off their Hero ISL 2023-24 campaign on a high. MBSG talisman Dimitri Petratos scored in the 34th minute after Jason Cummings found the back of the net in the ninth minute.
Majcen got one back for the visitors in the second half however Manvir Singh once again extended the home team’s lead.
Vergetis feels they played better in the second half and believes the difference between I-League and ISL is the transition game and they will need to adjust to the league.
“We played our first game. My players were a bit stressed, and some individual mistakes brought us back to zero,” Vergetis said in the press conference.
“But in the second half, the team got better. We had one very good period,” he added.
“The big difference between I-league and ISL is the transition game. In ISL, the games have a lot of transitions from both sides and you have to be well prepared for this. We did not play any transitions. This is the difference between the two divisions. I think,” Vergetis continued.
Talking about playing a foreign goalkeeper, Vergetis said, “Kiran was the best goalkeeper in the I-League last year. He helped the team as Luka Majcen and Mera a lot. That’s why we kept these three players,” he said.
“Of course, we have two very good Indian goalkeepers, and depending on the plans of the game, will decide about the four positions. The goalkeeper position is one crucial position in football, and it’s not so strange as you think because I have heard this question many times,” he concluded.
This was Punjab FC’s first match in the ISL and they will look to learn from their mistakes. The Shers will play their second match of the season against FC Goa at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa on 2nd October.