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ISL- Indian Super League

'We changed the...' - Staikos Vergetis sheds light on Punjab FC's evolution

Published at :February 13, 2024 at 11:16 AM
Modified at :February 13, 2024 at 11:16 AM
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(Courtesy : ISL Media)

Rutvij Joshi


Staikos Vergetis also heaped praise upon Indian players.

Punjab FC defeated Kerala Blasters with a 3-1 scoreline in a dominating performance at the JLN Stadium in Kochi. The Shers registered their first back-to-back wins in the competition and their third in 14 games this season. Milos Drincic drew first blood in the 39th minute to give the home side the lead, however, Colombian striker Jordan Gil levelled the score in the 42nd minute. The Colombian scored the second goal in the 61st minute to hand Punjab the lead and captain Luka Majcen slotted the third goal in the 88th minute to seal the deal for the North Indian side.

Staikos Vergetis, the head coach of the winning team, spoke to the media in the post-match press conference. Here are the excerpts:

Thoughts on the game

Staikos Vergetis shared his thoughts on the win and stated that the players executed the plan really well. He mentioned, “Our players executed the plan of the game as we had prepared. And it went well in a very good level, high level. So, I felt like our players were playing in a better and aggressive way.”

Changes from the first half

The Punjab-based side registered only one win in 12 games in the first-leg while in the ongoing second phase the team has registered two wins in two fixtures. When questioned, what changed in the second phase for the team, the tactician commented, “I think that now our players are stepping on their legs with more confidence.”

He went on further stating, “They have taken one number of games in this division in ISL that most of them had never played and that gave them experiences very useful and are helping them now on the pitch. It was normal, I would dare to say, that in the initial games we would struggle enough. We had many youngsters, many players who had not played at this level, but we were competitive. Now, we said before the Super Cup and after this, that we have to step with more confidence on the pitch and this is what we are doing.”

Evaluating the capacity of Indian players

Punjab FC won the I-League last season with a decent Indian core to qualify for the ISL. This season too, the team has not had the best of Indian talents. In fact Punjab FC have one of the most inexperienced squads in the ISL. When asked how he evaluates Indian players, Vergetis answered that the Indian players have the ‘big thirst’ to learn. 

“I would like to tell you that the Indian players are very disciplined, very respectful boys. I enjoy working with them. They have big respect and big thirst to learn things. And the result of this procedure is the improvement that they have. Every one of us, all the teams must give them new information, new stimulation every day to get them better. I am very happy to see young players, Indian players who are doing better and better. I am very satisfied,” he said.

Changes in the setup

Staikos Vergetis then went on and highlighted the tactical changes he made in order to make his side more dangerous going forward which has resulted in six goals in two games.  “…We changed the formation,” he started.

He went on to say, “Because I wanted to be more dangerous up front. With the previous formation, we were not threatening the opponent too much. I put too much force, I gave liberty to Talal to move behind them and around them and this made us more dangerous. The matter of counter attack is not the matter of formation, it is a matter of phases of the game. It’s normal many times in the game to have the control of the ball, the possession of the ball. So, we are forced to have defensive cohesion and live in counter attack. It’s the basis of the game. It’s not our selection to play like this.”

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