Punjab FC head coach Staikos Vergetis expressed dissatisfaction at not being able to qualify for the playoffs and is determined to end the season on a high with a win as top-six chasing East Bengal FC visit the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday. 

Defeat to Mohun Bagan Super Giant ended their chances of qualifying for the playoffs in their very first season in the Indian Super League (ISL) but they can still end the season on a high with a win. 

“It was a strange and difficult season for us. Two games before we were in the position to finish in the top six and we lost this, so I can't say I am satisfied with the season,” he said. 

“I am not happy. I can't ignore the effort that our players put in, I don't have any complaints about that but I am not happy that after managing to get ourselves in a position to meet our target, we didn't achieve it,” he added. 

Punjab FC will only be playing for pride against the Red and Gold brigade but Vergetis wants to finish as high as possible in the table. 

“We have the objective to take the three teams and leapfrog some teams in the table. We don't like to see ourselves in the second-last place. We don't deserve this and we will try for it. For me, this match is very important,” he said. 

“East Bengal FC have very good players who support their style of play very well. We have to analyse the strong and weak points of the opponents and go to the game,” he added. 

“It's a new game. I won't look at past encounters (between the two teams). We have a plan and we will try to execute those plans as well as possible,” he continued. 

Looking back at the campaign, Vergetis feels he could have given more opportunities to the younger players and heaped praise on those who have impressed him. 

“We had many U-23 players play in our team and perform key roles but I feel we can have more young players,” he said. 

“Kipgen is a quality player and is very talented and will be a big star in Indian football. I was also happy to see Abhishek against Manvir and he did very well against Mohun Bagan SG. We can't say some of these players are behind any top players playing in Indian football. They have the talent, they are very disciplined boys in every training session,” he added. 

Want to finish the season with a win: Manglenthang Kipgen 

Youngster Manglenthang Kipgen joined Vergetis in the pre-match press conference and echoed his coach’s thoughts about finishing the season on a high.

“East Bengal FC have a crucial game in front of them. We will try to play good football and do our best according to the coach's plan. We want to finish this season with a win,” he said. Kipgen also expressed delight at being given an opportunity to play for the first team and make a mark in the ISL. 

“I am very happy to get a chance to play for the first team and play in the ISL. My journey has been great and I hope to continue to grow more,” he concluded.