The Shivajians boss was disappointed with the result but pleased with his side’s efforts…

DSK Shivajians drew 0-0 with table toppers Mohun Bagan in a fantastic display of determination and hard work. Of the two clubs, DSK can walk away feeling aggrieved at the dropped points. The hosts created several chances and stood tall in defence against one of the most potent attacks in the league.

Speaking to the press after the game, Dave Rogers was not surprised one bit by the level of performance that his side produced. The Englishman said, “I am not surprised by the performance. I watch them play every day. They are a new team, a young team. I don’t expect anything less from them because I know what they give me on a daily basis. After every game, we’re getting better. For me, from the first kick off, we were the better team.

The gaffer continued, “It feels like a defeat, and I’m being honest with you. They’ve run around, they’ve battled, they’ve outplayed a really, really, good team. And with some more luck, we’d have won the game. We scored a wonderful goal from a set-piece, only the referee knows why it was disallowed. Have a look at the young boys, they’ve come up against one of the most experienced boys in the I-League. Did they look out of place? Not a chance. “

Rogers, who previously headed the DSK International Academy, revealed the amount of preparation that goes on off the field, for each game. DSK were tactically able to halt the charge of players of the likes of Sony Norde, Yusa Katsumi and co. “That’s what makes a good coach, that’s what I’m paid to do. We analyze every team we play. We do it over weeks and months. They are a very good team. They have a fantastic coach who is a gentleman. He was very appreciative of my team before and after the game. I hope Sanjoy has a great season with Mohun Bagan. But my only interest is DSK Shivajians.”

The Shivajians boss had reverted to a 5 man defence, and 19-year-old Sairuatkima played a starring role in the centre back role. “We played 5 at the back to combat the front 4. When you’ve got players of the caliber of Darryl Duffy, Jeje, Katsumi and Norde, if you give them space, they’ll hurt you. We didn’t give them space today. I thought young Sai who came into the back 5 was absolutely outstanding. For me, he was a man today. He was a colossal at the back. Surrounded by Sasha and Gouramangi, and little Jerry on the left and Nirmal on the right. It was a great performance.,” said Rogers.

DSK have turned their fortunes around after a slow start in the standings, earning 5 points in 3 games without defeat. The Liverpudlian was delighted with his side, stating, “We’re unbeaten in three games now. On another day, we might have a bit of luck and win the game. For us to get where we want to, it’ll be a marathon, not a sprint. We’re developing these boys in the right way. We have a great blend of youth and experience and the team spirit is excellent.”

Sumeet Passi, who started the game for DSK was taken off at half time, while Shane McFaul and Subrata Paul had altogether missed out on a place in the match day squad. After the game, Rogers gave an update on the trio’s statuses. “Passi got a kick on the ankle, but played excellently when he came in to the side. Shane was very ill before the game on Saturday but he played for 65 minutes. He’s now had a bit of rest and a little bit of treatment, so in a day or two, he should be back in training.”

“Subrata, again, just a small injury. I am not going to risk them in the long term, so when my medical staff tell me they’re ready, we’ll integrate them back into the group,” Rogers signed off.

DSK Shivajians will face Aizawl FC in an away game on the 1st of February.