We wish our team to be the winner: Punjab FC’s Staikos Vergetis
Punjab FC head coach Staikos Vergetis wants to leave the pitch as a winning side when they take on Chennaiyin FC.
Punjab FC head coach Staikos Vergetis is optimistic of another positive result when they go up against Chennaiyin FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai on Sunday.
Punjab FC's debut season in the ISL got off to a rocky start, with the team playing four games and managing to secure only two points. Despite facing defeat in their first two matches, the team, led by Vergetis, displayed remarkable fighting spirit and determination in their last two games, where they earned one point in each. The Shers have yet to secure their first ISL win, but their recent performance reflects their resilience and commitment to turning their season around.
“Tomorrow's match is a difficult game. Both teams need three points for the same reason - to climb in the rankings. I think that both teams have done their analyses and will try to put the key points to win the game. We wish our team to be the winner, of course, but most importantly, we hope for a very good and enjoyable game,” Vergetis said in the pre-match press conference.
Punjab FC earned a promotion to the ISL after being crowned the I-League champions last season. However, the Shers have encountered some challenges while performing in the top flight of Indian football. Nevertheless, Vergetis remains optimistic about his team's ability to adapt to this upgrade and believes they will catch up very soon.
In his analysis of the differences between both leagues, Vergetis identified the transition game within a match as a major point of distinction. He also noted that the ISL features a faster pace compared to the I-League. Reflecting on these variances, Vergetis stated, "I believe that the great difference between the two divisions is the speed, the rhythm, the pace of the game. In ISL, there are a lot of transition games. Many times one team who is defending is much faster than it was in I-League. Our team tried to adapt to this situation at a good level."
“We have difficulties in some games, especially in the first halves, but in the second halves, we are going better as a team. Our players seem to try to be competitive and adapt in this situation. We have many players who have never played in the ISL. We have players who have played a little in the ISL. That’s why they need their time. They are in a good mood and very much available to learn, to educate in the training and this gives me the hope of their development,” he added further.
The Greek tactician also mentioned defender Tekcham Abhishek Singh's unavailability due to injury and the possibility of pairing Luka Majcen and Wilmar Jordan Gil together.
“Yes, they can play together. Jordan came very late, in the last phase of our pre-season. After that, he had not too much but a little time out because of a small injury. And he’s now getting better and better to come to the games. That’s why we have not tried this until now. But maybe at one moment, it is one option that we have in our mind.”
Melroy Assisi, who previously played in the Chennaiyin FC reserves team, joined Vergetis in the press conference. Assisi is determined to approach this match in the same manner he did with other matches and doesn't want to place added pressure on himself while facing his former team.
When sharing his observations about playing in the ISL, Assisi stated, "In the first game, it was… we played as one of us because a lot of players were having their debuts. So, the first two games were difficult, but now I think we are getting to the level.”