ISL 2016: Antonio Habas says no excuses for performance after Chennaiyin loss
After back-to-back wins against Atletico de Kolkata and Mumbai City FC, Pune saw their momentum halted on Tuesday evening as a pair of headers from Chennaiyin’s forwards Jeje Lalpekhlua and Davide Succi saw them pick up zero points while also allowing Chennaiyin to leapfrog them in the table.
Pune coach Antonio Habas persisted with a three at the back system and two full-backs, a system that had proven successful in the earlier wins. Yet here, it proved rather ineffectual.
Speaking to media after the game, Habas said though that the system was not to blame for the defeat.
“It was not about the system. The goal that Chennai scored in the 44th minute changed everything. Till that moment, Chennai didn't attack and we didn't attack.”
This clash against Chennaiyin was Pune's fourth game in 12 days and their next game comes in another three days time, making it a taxing fortnight. Habas admitted that fatigue was an issue, but refused to put that forward as an excuse.
“No excuse, all teams are the same. We are coming from very tough games. We are working well but today… (we didn't),” said Habas.
He also said that the team was downbeat after Tuesday's loss and that it was his job now to rally his troops and get them ready for the next game. They face Delhi on the 18th.
“During the second half, we played very badly. So I think that we can only improve against Delhi. That's the good thing,” the Spanish coach exclaimed as he tried to look ahead to the rest of the campaign.
The forwards have to score, laments Habas
Scoring goals has been a problem for Pune and they struggled mightily in that regard again on Tuesday. Dramana Traore, playing up front, was once again disappointing. Habas took a very realistic look at that issue.
“We are playing with all forwards. We have Ndoye, Tato, Traore and Anibal. I don't have any more forwards. They have to score and improve and work,” Habas explained to show that every option had been tried and that it was now up to his players to step up to the mark.
Habas praises referee
Habas also took time out to shower praise on the officials who managed the game especially referee Nick Waldron for officiating the game very well.
“I want to congratulate the referee today because he controlled the tempo (very well). For us the best referee so far. Maybe sometimes I am against the referees, but today the referee was perfect. The respect, the technical and tactical, everything was very good,” the Spanish coach summarised.
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