Home support is something that gives an advantage: Punjab FC's Staikos Vergetis
Punjab FC eye their first win in the ISL against Hyderabad FC on their home turf.
Punjab FC head coach Staikos Vergetis wants to make the most of the home advantage when they take on Hyderabad FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Tuesday.
The Shers put on a spirited performance against Mumbai City FC in the last match; however, they succumbed to pressure in the second half and ultimately faced their fourth defeat in the league.
Vergetis re-iterated the challenges they faced against the Islanders in the last match and is hopeful of learning from the defeat to perform better in the upcoming match.
“It is a challenging year for all of us, our first year in the ISL,” Vergetis stated in the pre-match press conference.
“In the last game, we faced difficulties. The opponent team was very strong, especially in the second half and they (Mumbai City FC) put us in difficult work. We had the red card (to Dimitrios Chatziisaias) also which was bad because it put out an important player for us. But we have players in our roster to replace him,” he added.
The Greek tactician is hopeful of overcoming this situation soon and taking the next step forward in the ISL.
“It's a challenging situation, but we enjoy participating. If you want to make steps up in your career, you have to face these challenges. Our team has difficulties sometimes facing some situations in the games. But we have to adapt to this more and this is something that we need to develop,” he said.
In their previous home game, Punjab FC managed to secure a 1-1 draw against NorthEast United FC, and they are now preparing for their second home match of the season.
Vergetis urges the fans to fill the stadium, get behind the players from the stands, and help the team maximize their home advantage.
“I would like to call all the fans who are in Delhi, to come and support us. It's a motivation for the players. The moment that they play, it gives them more power to face the difficulties of a game,” he said.
“The home (support) is something that gives you an advantage. We saw that in the first game (against NorthEast United FC) that we played here. The fans were pushing our players, especially in the second half,” Vergetis added.
The Shers have, thus far, accumulated two points from their six matches, but their performance has certainly improved. Their head coach believes that confidence is something that will continue to grow over time and to achieve this, they need to adhere to their style of play and adapt to the conditions more effectively.
“If you want to develop your style of game, you must not make a lot of changes in personnel and the team's playing approach because you have to give the chance to some games for the players to adapt and face all the phases of the game. It's not good to change many things. It's good to have balance, to insist on the things that the players can do well. This is what we are doing. And we are expecting in the next games, a much better performance,” he stated.
Midfielder Brandon Vanlalremdika joined Vergetis at the pre-match press conference. The 29-year-old brings a wealth of experience from playing with various clubs in the I-League.
Nevertheless, this marks his debut in the ISL, and he believes that no matter which league he plays in, he must perform at his best.
“We are playing football, whether it's the ISL or I-League, so it's the same for me. I believe that to perform better, I just have to work harder, listen to my coaches more, and strive to improve myself,” he commented.