Reid: It was a clinical & professional performance
Mumbai City FC head coach Peter Reid was delighted with the way his side defended as a unit and claimed a vital 1-0 victory against Kerala Blasters FC in an engaging encounter at the DY Patil Sports Stadium.
“I am absolutely delighted with the way my boys played. We had taken part in a lot of video sessions and concentrated on getting our defensive tactics in order. Our priority was to keep it tight at the back. We were too open in the last game and paid the penalty. Once we got the goal, I knew that Kerala would come at us, but we defended superbly. My boys performed their roles beautifully and I cannot be happier for them,” an elated Reid said at the post-match press conference.
The English gaffer further elaborated on how his defensive tactics had fallen into place: “We defended as a unit. Everyone knew where to be and how to get the game flowing into the opposition half. We counter attacked brilliantly once we managed to snuff out any potential dangers. I do not remember Subrata Paul having to make a decent save all game, which shows that we denied them any room to create goal scoring opportunities. My defenders and midfielders took joint responsibility and made sure that we finished with three points. It was a clinical and professional performance, worthy of a victory.”
The former Everton and Manchester City player was all praise for his star man, Nicolas Anelka, whose free kick decided the game. “He is a top class player. What a free kick that was!” he exclaimed. “If you noticed, Kerala were trying to stifle him by surrounding him every time he got the ball. We had made a conscious decision to play him further up the pitch today so that he could get on the end of things. Players of his age like Didier Drogba are playing for top clubs in the Premier League. Our team is very lucky to have him here.”
Reid also stated that he wanted his side to improve on their finishing going forward, “We could have won by more than one goal. Kerala were caught on the break so many times towards the end of the game. If Subhash (Singh) could have finished off the chance that Anelka had created, then I would have been a happier man. We need to finish what we create and not get complacent,” he declared.
Reid was also appreciative of the fine tactical battles on display in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL). “The ISL has been a wonderful tactical battleground. I can see that all the coaches are working very hard to get their strategies in place and extract the best out of their available squads,” he said. “For example, Kerala knew today that André Moritz has a sweet left foot. All game long, they denied him the opportunity to cut in and have a pop at goal. They worked their socks off trying to deny Anelka the freedom to run the show. It augurs well for the league and I hope that we get to see more of this.”