Hyderabad FC head coach Thangboi Singto had words of praise for the opposition after his side suffered a 3-0 defeat against league leaders Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium in Hyderabad on Monday.

Lallianzuala Chhangte, Mehtab Singh, and Jorge Pereyra Diaz were on target for the Islanders as they eased past the Yellow and Blacks to extend their unbeaten run to eight games. The hosts also had their chances with Ramhlunchhunga and Makan Chothe, but Phurba Lachenpa stood strong between the bars to keep his defensive line intact.

Singto felt that the international break came at the wrong time for his team, disrupting the momentum they had built over the past few matches.

“We drew against NorthEast United FC and won against Chennaiyin FC in a tough away game. Then suddenly, the break came. I can’t say much about this because it was international, but for us, the break was not at the right moment,” Singto said in the post-match press conference.

“Saying that, it’s no excuse, as every team went through this break. We played last on March 9, so it’s a long layoff,” he further added.

The Indian head coach shared that they were aware of the challenges that the Islanders could pose with their formidable attacking lineup, consisting of Chhangte, Bipin Singh, Vikram Partap Singh, and Diaz.

However, he felt that the lack of precision in converting their chances cost his side points against the current league leaders.

“Mumbai City FC was going to be tough for sure with the Indian forwards like Chhangte, Bipin, Vikram, and also Diaz,” he stated.

“But in the first and second minutes, we had our chances, and those chances haunted us. The boys tried their best. In training, the boys are trying to make the habit of scoring goals, but it has not come yet. Today, full credit goes to Mumbai City FC. Also, the weather was tough for both teams,” he continued.

Singto wanted to highlight the positives from this game, as he believed that gaining valuable match time would help his players develop and mature in their games going forward.

He believes his boys are working really hard in training sessions and will come back stronger for the next match against FC Goa.

“The good thing is that we are creating chances and the boys are playing confidently. Sometimes, it also looks like we’re playing very well, and it was heartwarming to see young boys playing well with confidence,” he explained.

“In the first half, we kept the ball quite well with Joao Victor and Mark Zothanpuia. This part was fine. In football, the other part is that you have to score goals. In goal-scoring, we keep doing it in matches. We need a little bit more experienced strikers up front. We can’t blame Joseph Sunny or (Makan) Chothe, who is playing out of his position. No, complain. We just have to make the boys believe that it’s not our day, but hopefully, we’ll score some goals against FC Goa,” Singto signed off.