Franco Colomba: Tonight’s victory first of many!

Franco Colomba was a visibly happy man as his team FC Pune City beat FC Goa by two goals to none, and also managed to keep a clean sheet in the process. This was on the back of the five-goal loss to Mumbai City FC, and it came as a relief to the home fans who thronged the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi, Pune. Midfielder Lenny Rodrigues joined the manager in the post-match press conference to address the gathering.

Colomba’s first reaction was of pure delight. “I’m very happy! It’s our first victory, and is very important for our morale. I feel it is good for the competition, and surely good for my players. It is going to be one of many hopefully. I would not like to think that our work here is done. Tonight’s just the start.”

A change in tactics saw the manager implement a different formation, and that seemed to do the trick for the home side. “I feel tactics are very important in a game. Along with that, it needs good mentality to go along. Against Mumbai, we made a lot of mistakes. We were not bad, but we were not good too. Yes, we made mistakes today, but they were greatly reduced.”

Pune have many players in the side in terms of physicality, and they seemed to make the most of it with the first goal a result of a set-piece move. The manager was quick to make a point that it’s not the only side of their game they have been working on, but rather a combination of many. “We try to incorporate different things in training whenever possible, not just set pieces. They are all important to our game,” he said.

When it was FC Pune City midfielder Lenny Rodrigues’ turn to speak, he humbly started off saying, “Before I say anything, I’d like to thank the almighty God for this important victory.” The team seemed to play cohesively today, and Rodrigues added, “Yes, the team is gelling well, and this victory serves as a big morale boost. Today, we played as a complete team, both in defence and in attack. It was our strategy, that everyone came back to defend when we lost the ball.”

With the nature of the league and the distribution of Indian players, footballers like Rodrigues have had to turn against their home state. But the Goan lad, being a true professional, knows where his duties lie. “This is my new club now, and I am going to do my best to help us win.”

Pune hope to keep the momentum going as they welcome Kerala Blasters FC and then NorthEast United FC in succession at home.

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