The players showed great character but we should have won: Chennaiyin FC’s Syed Sabir Pasha

Chennaiyin FC fought back to earn a 2-2 draw with Odisha FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco, Goa. However, it leaves them with an improbable task of making the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) semi-finals.

CFC Head Coach Syed Sabir Pasha was happy with his side's character after conceding the two goals, but he admits that these were two points dropped.

Rahim Ali scored in the 2nd minute of the game, but they were hit back by goals from Javier Hernandez and Jonathas Cristian. Nerijus Valskis got a goal in the second half to rescue a point for the Chennai-based team.

This result keeps the Marina Machans in the 8th spot and five points behind fourth-place Jamshedpur FC, with three games left.

Head Coach Syed Sabir Pasha addressed the media after the game.

Here are some excerpts from his press conference:

Is this a game you should have won?

Yes, we should have won this game. The way we played, the way we kept the ball. We had some bad patches in the match, like after the 20 minutes of the first half, we had a little bit of a problem, we went back to the past and were losing balls not showing confidence. But the boys showed great character, they came back very strongly after conceding two goals. It's very difficult, especially after we conceded five goals in the last match, and then you concede two goals here. And to come back from that, it shows the great character of the boys. Hats off to them and they have to keep this going in the coming matches.

What has been your philosophy? Did you try to implement that today?

Implementing our philosophy is difficult, but I saw things that were lacking and what we can do better. On these occasions it is those slight changes, we have to make not big changes. We cannot make big changes because we don't have time to work on it and it will not suit these boys who have been training for so long with the one system. But we have to get that little bit of spark inside the game. So we tuned it and it worked in the way we played and we should have taken three points.

Rahim scored very early. Should you have taken advantage and kept the momentum? Yes, this has been happening to us in the past few matches, once we start well for 15 minutes, it suddenly goes down and we never recover. But this is the first time I've seen us recover. Either the formation has changed or the other people whom we are put in the right places have changed. Something has worked. It has worked. So I think we have to carry forward with this and see that we do well in these coming three matches.

 Valskis scored after 11 matches. How big a relief is that?

He is really a good striker. You all know the goals he has scored. He is a goal scorer no doubt, but there are some bad patches that happen to the strikers, but he's a strong guy with a strong mind. So it is time that he comes back. So, he has got a goal. I'm very happy for him and hope he continues the same form.

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