Hyderabad FC head coach Thangboi Singto commended goalkeeper Gurmeet Singh's performance and leadership skills despite their team's defeat to Mohun Bagan Super Giant in the recent Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Saturday.

Despite Hyderabad FC facing a tough loss, with first-half goals from Anirudh Thapa and Jason Cummings securing the win for Mohun Bagan SG, Singto praised Gurmeet Singh's efforts in goal. Singh made an impressive 10 saves, tying the record for the most saves in a single game in the league's history, alongside NorthEast United FC's Mirshad Michu.

Singh, who was also named captain for the game, earned special recognition from Singto. The head coach highlighted Gurmeet's suitability for the role, emphasising his effective handling of the defensive responsibilities.

“That is why he is in the national camp. He has proven that. There is good competition between Katti (Laxmikant Kattimani) and Gurmeet. Gurmeet is much younger and I'm very happy for him. He knew that the defence in front of him was very young. Maybe 21-22 year old boys but today, being a captain, he took that responsibility very well with his performance. Without speaking much, he proved by his actions (his quality). We are happy for him and the team as a whole,” he said in the post-match press conference.  

Hyderabad FC faced their fifth consecutive defeat, marking their 10th loss of the season in 13 games. Notably, they stand as the only winless team in the league. The team's squad depth has been significantly affected by the departure of key players during the January transfer window.

In their recent match against Mohun Bagan Super Giant, Hyderabad FC fielded a squad composed solely of Indian players, with captain Joao Victor sidelined due to injury. Despite the challenges, the young talents of Hyderabad FC displayed resilience and determination, putting up a spirited fight in Kolkata.

When asked about coping with the current challenges in the club, Singto said: “In life there will be challenges. So when there are challenges, what do you do? You stay down and mourn? No, it doesn't work (that way). You have to keep trying. That’s what we have been doing. Whether it's the owners, the management, the staff, the new players or the young players - we are trying our best. There’s a saying that those who work hard with all their heart are rewarded. And we are waiting for that reward. And its tough because some of our youngsters are from the reserves.” 

He added: “(For example) Vijay, our left-back, is playing for the India U-19 team. We had to push them. And it's a big challenge. But I told them you’re playing in Kolkata, against Mohun Bagan SG and in this iconic stadium. What more do you want? You have such a big platform. It’s pressure for them, but let's see where it goes. We don't have other options except giving them a chance. Today in the second half, we did well. I’m happy for the boys. We need to keep learning and learning soon.”