ISL 2017: "A must-win game for us," says Dynamos coach Portugal ahead of Chennaiyin battle
The Delhi Dynamos have not enjoyed a good run in season four of the Indian Super League since their opening game. The team were on a massive high thanks to their win over FC Pune City in their opening fixture, but since then it's been a succession of losses for last season's semi-finalists.
Embattled head coach Miguel Angel Portugal still believes though that the team have been playing well. Speaking ahead of his side's clash with table-toppers Chennaiyin FC on Sunday, Portugal said: “The problem is we started well and then I think we have played well. We had two problems - in defence and in attack. We have had a lot of opportunities but we have not scored.”
He was keen to highlight that defence was the area where his team had struggled massively.
“We play well in midfield but defence is a problem,” he exclaimed.
“The problem is our set-piece defending. Chennaiyin will try to exploit that weakness. But we will try to defend. The teams have been scoring from our mistakes,” he went on to add.
Portugal admitted that the results hadn't turned out as expected, making it a very grim festive period for him.
“It is a bad Christmas for me. It is not nice when you lose six matches on the trot. But I think the team played well. Our problems have been individual mistakes. The opponents know those situations and have exploited us. We are trying to rectify this situation,” he added.
Two struggling teams in the ISL have already decided to part with their coaches midway through with Kerala Blasters and NorthEast United doing away with Rene Meulensteen and Joao de Deus respectively. However, Portugal batted away suggestions that he was under pressure to keep his job.
“No, I'm not under pressure,” he said. “It is difficult for us to find good players. Chhangte, Vinit (Rai), Nanda, Lumu etc. are good for the future.”
He also mentioned that the club are looking to reinforce the squad in the transfer window.
“Probably, we might bring in some different players. I think our system is good and if our players play well, we will win. The success of the system depends on the players. If all players play well, we will win.”
The Dynamos were comprehensively beaten 4-0 in their previous encounter versus Mumbai City and tomorrow they take on season two champions Chennaiyin in Chennai. Portugal believes that despite their position, they are going to go for a win.
“We are going to have hope. Chennaiyin are going for the first position but we are going for a win. I think my team will play well and we have confidence in ourselves.”
Portugal concedes it's a must-win game for his side considering their poor run of form.
“This game is a must-win for us after the losses. When you win five or six times, it is possible that you might win the next game. The opposite is applicable as well.”
The Dynamos will be without Matias Mirabaje tomorrow after he was suspended for four matches along with a monetary fine due to his involvement in a fracas with Mumbai City midfielder Sehnaj Singh. Portugal added that captain Kalu Uche is also a doubt.
“Uche won't start. If it is necessary, he will play, but I will wait until tomorrow,” Portugal concluded.