Punjab FC head coach Staikos Vergetis admitted they did not put their maximum effort into the game after their 5-1 loss against Chennaiyin FC in the Indian Super League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai on Sunday.
The Marina Machans dominated the contest from the get-go as Ryan Edwards scored his maiden goal of the season. Chris Shields then doubled the hosts’ lead after three minutes whereas Crivellaro scored at the stroke of half-time to give a 3-0 lead to his team.
Shields then scored his second goal of the evening and Vincy Barretto scored in the 84th minute as Chennayin FC continued their domination. Krishananda Singh got one back for the visitors but the game was already over by then.
“I believe that we did not put our maximum effort into the game as we should have, especially when it comes to winning second balls. The opposing team showed that once they gained more (balls), winning many second balls, whether from our defence or theirs, for every ball they won, they launched more attacks than us. Difficult nights like this are opportunities to learn and come back stronger in the upcoming games,” Vergetis said in the post-match press conference.
Vergetis admitted there is a difference in quality between the two teams but feels they should have come up with a better defensive performance.
“Of course, it’s a matter of quality. I believe that in our defensive transition, we should (have) reacted better. It’s something that we worked on in training, but I have not seen it executed at the maximum level, as it should be. The moment we lost the ball, we allowed the opponent to enter our defensive third very easily,” he further added.
The gaffer feels they need to improve their defensive game in order to get the desired results in a competitive league like the ISL.
“Look, we have a new team with a low average age. Most of the players have not played in the ISL before, and some players from the ISL that we have not played alongside in previous years. It’s a team that needs its time to fix everything,” he stated.
“The first thing is our defensive function, which we have to improve. We’re working on it in our training sessions to enhance our attacking organization in all the factors. We are pushing the players to become better and better. But we need time. We have these difficulties that I said but we are one young team, and the future is ours,” Vergetis further explained.
Punjab FC will next face Mumbai City FC at the Mumbai Football Arena in Mumbai on November 2.