Colomba happy with performance, not league position

Franco Colomba

FC Pune City head coach Franco Colomba was happy about his team’s performance but not the result as the hosts were held to a 1-1 draw by visiting Atlético de Kolkata in the Deccan city on Saturday night. Pune are in seventh position of the Hero Indian Super League table with 13 points and have a mountain to climb if they are to make the semis.

“As a coach I would say it was a good game, because the team played a good match. But as the coach of FC Pune City, we are in mid table, and that’s not good,” the Italian gaffer observed at the post-match press conference.

Pune missed clear opportunities and also saw a lot of shots on target saved by Kolkata keeper Edel Apoula Bete. Asked about the team’s dismal showing in front of goal, Colomba admitted, “We had many occasions to score, but somehow it was not possible. I am sad about that.”

The manager had to field an oft asked question whether he considered draws as a point won or two lost. “This is not two points lost, as the opponent were a good team. It doesn’t always happen that the team which plays well wins. I feel we weren’t lucky,” quipped the Italian. “Their goalkeeper was good. I agree one point is not enough, but football is like this. Hopefully, we’ll do better in the next match,” he added.

Was Kolkata’s goal scored due to a lapse of concentration in their defence, he was asked. To which the manager replied, “We keep speaking continuously of how to eliminate mistakes. But it is not always possible to avoid it in every game. A lot of goals are born out of mistakes.” 

Colomba was hopeful his team would produce results that would help them storm into the last four. “There is a two point difference (between Pune City and the third and fourth placed team) and anything is possible, but to win is more important,” he declared.

Former India international Mehrajuddin Wadoo, who joined his coach at the press conference, thanked his teammates for helping him adjust to the right back position. “I did my best to help in attack and to also fall back and defend. My teammates helped and made it easier for me, it wasn’t possible for me to do it alone,” he said. “We created so many chances but somehow we did not convert. We can say it was not our day,” he added.

About their irrepressible midfield general Kostas Katsouranis, who rescued the home side with his fourth goal of the championship, Wadoo said, “He’s been scoring for us, and he’s a very good player. That was an important goal that he scored today.”

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