Staikos Vergetis: I expected more from the team offensively
The Greek head coach hailed the performances of the youngsters against East Bengal.
Punjab FC displayed a defensive masterclass against East Bengal at the iconic VYBK stadium in Kolkata. The Shers thwarted every East Bengal attack and did not give a sniff to any East Bengal forward to score a goal. Staikos Vergetis’ team came prepared and outwitted Carles Cuadrat’s side, putting no wrong foot defensively to take a point away from home.
Staikos Vergetis spoke to the media after the game in the post-match press conference. Here are the excerpts.
Thoughts on the game
Staikos Vergetis shared his thoughts on the game and hailed his team’s discipline and plan that was laid out for the match. He said, “We did not allow the opponent to create clear chances in our positions. And generally the defensive function went well. We had some problems sometimes in the transitions when East Bengal found free space and reached very fast to our area.”
“But we faced this situation before also. Offensively, I was expecting more things from our team. We did not create so many chances. Even though we had our transitions moments, we did not take any advantage of them. We had only Juan Mera’s shot hit the post and one situation with Daniel in the second half. In the last minutes, with long balls, the opponent team pressed us a lot, but our players made very good defense, keeping the score zero. To be honest, in that period I was a little afraid,” the head coach elaborated further.
Happy with one point?
The tactician was then asked if he was happy with one point from the game despite having clear chances to score goals alongside a disciplined performance in defense. He answered, “When one match finishes in a draw, you say if I had more possibility, that I was better than the opponent to win, I’m not happy. And the opposite. Today we did not have so many chances. We were not so much better than the opponent. I would better say that I appreciate the defensive function of our team. One step up in this phase.”
Were the team scared to commit more men in attack ?
Punjab FC deployed a safety first approach against East Bengal and were often outnumbered when there was an opportunity to attack. The Greek boss was questioned if the players had fears about their last game against Bengaluru FC where the game ended 3-3.
Staikos Vergetis explained the reason stating, “I will explain exactly, saying two things. The first is that when we plan a game, we plan our defensive function and our offensive model – how we will go to attack this opponent. We prepared both of the situations. Just in the offensive function of the team, we were not so effective in some moments that we went into the offensive transition with good conditions. Of course we saw this aspect of the game and we would like to make more chances.”
“But when you come to play with so many young players against big players, famous players, players of national team, for example, KhaiminthanLhungdim and Nitesh Darjee, two youngsters, not 20 yet, faced Mahesh and Nandha, very good players who play in the national team, yes? Of course you have to be careful. Players with a lot of talent, a lot of quality. In the previous game against Bengaluru, it was the same. We faced very good players, famous players, and we now start to build up the career of these boys in the ISL,” he concluded.
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