Intercontinental Cup 2019: 'We can learn from our mistakes and get better in the next match,' says Jerry Lalrinzuala (Exclusive)
The Intercontinental Cup is turning out to be a sorrow affair for the Indian football team and their fans as the Blue Tigers lost 2-5 to DPR Korea at the EKA Arena in Ahmedabad. Jerry Lalrinzuala, who played as a left-back in the game, had a disastrous outing as he was involved directly in conceding two of the five goals for the far East Asian nation.
The Chennaiyin FC defender's lack of height haunted India as Jong Il Gwan outjumped him to cushion his header out of Amrinder Singh's reach to score their third goal. In the build-up to DPR Korea's fourth goal, Jerry allowed Jong Il Gwan to saunter between him and Subhasish, who in turn laid it on a platter for Ri Un Chol.
The two goals affected his morality but Jerry believes India will learn from their mistakes and bounce back stronger.
"Today, I am not happy because we lost the match. I am a little bit sad. Our team performance wasn't good. We suffered due to our lack (of quality) in defense. But, we can learn from our mistakes and get better in the next match."
When asked if playing a new style of football under Igor Stimac had a negative effect on India's defense, Jerry replied that they made a lot of mistakes and coach's tactics shouldn't be blamed for that.
We are all players and we do mistakes. We have to accept that and we need to learn from our mistakes. The defense was slack today. But, next time we will give our best.
Many fans believe that Sandesh Jhingan and Anas Edathodika's absence at the heart of the defense and deploying makeshift centre-backs is causing India to leak goals. Jerry, however, believes that it shouldn't be a cause of concern as every defender should be ready to play at any position in the back four.
"No, no everyone is good. If everyone gives their 100 hundred percent, they can play in any position."
India next take on Syria on Tuesday at the Intercontinental Cup and coach Igor Stimac doesn't have much time to figure out his back four. In the post-match press conference after his side's loss to Tajikistan, the gaffer said that Mandar Rao Desai, Subhasish Bose, and Jerry Lalrinzuala had given enough options in the left-back position.
However, Jerry needs to cover a lot of ground if he wants to cement his place in the starting eleven at the World Cup Qualifiers.