ISL 2018-19: "All Fair in Getting Jeered," says FC Pune City's Robin Singh after Bengaluru FC loss
Bengaluru FC Fan Army West Block Blues have always shared a love-hate relationship with Robin Singh, now with FC Pune City.
The former Bengaluru FC striker helped the Blues win the Federation Cup with a sensational strike back in 2015 but he also celebrated after scoring twice for East Bengal against BFC in an I-League match in 2017.
His return to the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Friday then was met with cheers by the BFC supporters at the West Block A Stand. But that soon turned into jeers when Robin dropped BFC captain Sunil Chhetri to the ground to stop a counter. He also fouled towering midfielder Erik Paartalu, which infuriated the fans further.
Robin tried to argue his way out but the damage had been done. The Bengaluru fans would have no more of seeing their player unnecessarily fouled and they made it quite clear to Robin what they thought of him with those boos.
Well it's alright, Robin says. "I think it's all in the game. They are fair fans. They have been behind me as well. I am on the other side now and they are still behind me. That speaks volumes of the respect shown to Paartalu by me and Paartalu to me as well - then moving on to the fans again. I think it's all fair for 90 minutes," Robin said after FC Pune City's 1-2 defeat to Bengaluru FC on Friday, November 30.
That loss was Pune's seventh of the season and they just have one win in 10 games in the Indian Super League (ISL). With only eight more games to go, wins are something that Pune will need throughout to make it to the top four and Robin believes they still have a shot at making the playoffs.
"The results will come," Robin said. "You put in the work. You make sure you work the hardest. I can speak for my teammates as well. They are the most hard-working boys and the results will come.
"I will play my heart and soul wherever the gaffer (coach Pradyum Reddy) wants. He wants me in the wing, I will play. If he wants me in the middle of the pitch bullying people, I will do that as well. Wherever he wants me to play, I will play my heart and soul for the team."
Entering dangerous territory - Pune City's Hume
Pune striker Iain Hume, the ISL's top-scorer with 28 goals, concurred with Robin. "It's disappointing (not to get the win)," Hume said. "What we had, the guys did everything to get something from the game. It's hard to concede in the end. But there's a reason for Bengaluru being top - they finish their games well.
"Pune's problems are a combination of things - not scoring enough and conceding more. Everyone is working hard but we're not getting the win. It's disappointing given the way we played last season - we reached the playoffs. But we have eight games left and we have to win all of them," he added.
Hume added that it might still take him one or two games to regain fitness to play the full 90 minutes for his team. "I have been out for nine months," Hume said. "I played two games in the space of four days. it's entering an extremely dangerous territory if I played immediately.
"We (the coach and I) spoke about it. I was there, part of the squad. Throwing me on late in the game would be a dangerous thing for myself. He was having me around, trying to help the team out."