The Puneri Paltan came unstuck on home turf against a U Mumba side that was without skipper Anup Kumar and defenders Surender Nada and Mohit Chhillar. A two-point-defeat to their local rivals ended Puneri Paltan’s run of two straight draws in the league.
The game was level-pegging till the last few minutes where U Mumba stole the march on Puneri Paltan to claim a win. The loss leaves Puneri Paltan on the trail of the top four positions and with three home games gone, could prove to be a problem for Pune outfit.
Puneri Paltan’s veteran defender Prashant Chavan came down hard on his team’s defensive performance, claiming the Paltan defenders put in a very bad performance.
Defence performed very badly: Chavan
“Today our defence performed very badly. None of our defenders had a good game and we made too many errors. Our raiders were quite fantastic and almost got us the win, but we let them down,” Chavan told Sportskeeda after the game.
“Had our defence performed even 50% better, we would have won the game. Surendra Singh was continuously getting us raid points and our cover-corner combination let us down quite badly in this game,” he added.
Chavan was also critical of his captain Manjeet Chhillar, who thought that his captain made a mistake going for the final raid of the game when Surendra Singh was clearly in good form.
“I think our captain made a mistake today. He should have allowed Surendra Singh to go for the last raid as he was in the in-form raider. He may have got us back in the game.
“Even earlier when we needed Manjeet in defence, he went for raids and got caught, so I feel he needs to have a re-think on that aspect,” suggested the former Jaipur Pink Panthers player.
However, Chavan admitted that injuries and absentees haven’t helped his side and a lack of a right-corner defender who can make a telling ankle-hold is hurting the team’s chances.
“The problem with us is that we don’t have a player, who can make an ankle hold. So raiders are getting bonus points easily. We have Jasmer who is a right cover, playing at left corner, so that isn’t helping,” opined the Puneri Paltan defender.
Puneri Paltan take on Bengaluru Bulls later today in their final home game and the Paltan will be looking to give its fans a parting gift by signing off with a win.Published 14 Feb 2016, 18:37 IST