ISL 2018-19: 'Plan to Stop Dimas Delgado was to Sign Him in March' - Pune City coach Pradyum Reddy
After FC Pune City lost yet another game with Bengaluru FC winning their Indian Super League fixture 2-1 at the Kanteerava Stadium on Friday night, Pune City coach Pradyum Reddy lamented his side's defending and lack of fit players to get a result.
Udanta Singh had opened the scoring but Pune City got one back through a Rahul Bheke own goal. But the defender made amends in the 88th minute to make it 2-1.
Although Pune City had a good first half, their intensity dropped in the second with players even resorting to time-wasting. However, the coach said they weren't playing for a draw.
"We were not necessarily playing for a draw," Reddy said. "We were playing well in the first half and we deserved a goal but we also deserved to concede. So at half-time 1-1 was a fair reflection of the game.
"We came out in the second half with a mindset to try and control the tempo of the game and keep it as close as possible and try and win in towards the latter stages of the game.
"We felt that if we tried to go all out we'd leave too much space that Bengaluru are very good at exploiting. That was our plan; not to play for a draw but to play for a late win."
On taking off Chhuantea Fanai in the 34th minute
"I think the idea of starting with Fanai was to counter the pace of Udanta Singh," he explained. "Last time we played Bengaluru Sahil had a tough time against Udanta. Fanai was coming back from an injury and was a bit rusty and it was causing us too many problems.
"At that moment, in the 30th minute, they had a couple of chances from which they could have scored. So we could have possibly been two or three goals down because of the mistakes he was making.
"I gambled on whether I should wait till half-time and speak to him to correct the mistakes or just bite the bullet and make the substitution early."
On his plan to stop Dimas Delgado
The coach also joked that the club's failure to sign Bengaluru's Spanish playmaker Dimas Delgado was the reason they lost the game as the midfielder ran the show at the Kanteerava.
"The special plan we had for Dimas Delgado was back in March when we tried to sign him. Unfortunately, we missed out in the last minute and we paid the price for that.
"It's a true story," he said with a smile.
On using different formations in different games
"Unfortunately the options for formations we have are limited because of the limited players we have available," Reddy said. "Iain Hume wasn't available to play. Diego Carlos wasn't available... We're missing about five or six players.
"So you have to make use of what you can in terms of attacking options. I have plenty of defenders on the bench but we're not in a position in the table where we can sit and park the bus and defend.
"The last time we played Bengaluru and lost 3-0 it wasn't even a contest. I think we've come here - a tough place to come to because not many teams come here and get a good result - and we put in a good performance.
"You can see the difference between the last game against BFC and this game. I credit the boys for the effort they're putting in. We're lacking in certain areas. Other teams had the benefit of a full pre-season and I haven't. It's difficult to fix things when you have one or two sessions between games and travelling."