The Northeast powerhouse were outclassed by defending champions Bengaluru FC…

It was a tough day in the office for the Shillong Lajong coach as his team sank to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the reigning I-League champions Bengaluru FC on Saturday.

“It was a very tough game. We tried to control as best as we could. We could have done better with the first goal, by clearing the ball quicker and sharper. We were okay after the first goal. But of course for the second you have to give credit to the young Udanta, who was quick, sharp and agile. We could have done better in the 1 v 1 situation there. Maybe if we had defended better in the first 2 goals, the 3rd might not have come. But credit to Bengaluru FC. They showed that they were quicker and sharper than us,” said the 42 year old. 

The gaffer praised Man of the Match Udanta Singh’s development at Bengaluru FC and was of the opinion that the club is an ideal learning ground for young players such as him. 

“I think after he left the Tata Football Academy (TFA), Bengaluru FC is the right place for a young player like Udanta. There are senior pros and world class players here. He has grown in stature and he has broken into the national team also. I wish the best for him,” said Singto. 

He also called out the performances of Harmanjot Khabra and Lenny Rodrigues, both of whom joined the Blues on loan deals this season and felt that their experience saw them gel very quickly into their new surroundings. 

The coach however re-emphasized the need to take the learnings out of this game for his young team, which had 8 U-22 players in the playing 11. 

“I think we know the areas where we have to buck up. I know expectations are there but it is not easy on the young boys also. The positive is that we know the areas where we have to improve and keep working hard on them,” opined the Lajong coach. 

The 42-year old also explained why he left new signing, Cameroonian striker Aser Dipanda on the bench for the game when the team clearly needed goals. 

“Dipanda had been travelling and only trained with us for a week. But when he was on the pitch, he looked sharp. Hopefully in the next match he will play more,” said Singto.