ISL: Reid wants Mumbai defence to hold up against Kerala
Mumbai: Sounding critical of Mumbai City FC defense in the previous game that they lost 1-5 to Chennayin FC, head coach Peter Reid wanted his team to not concede easy goals when they take on Kerala Blasters here tomorrow.
“We have got to defend better and we have got be a threat. We got to be more professional and disciplined in our defending and in attacking. We have to be a bit more ruthless. There have been some extenuating circumstances,” said Reid here today.
“We didn't have probably our best attacker (Nicolas Anelka) in the first three games for obvious reasons. We got Andre (Moritz) back a 100 per cent, so I am expecting more from us from an attacking point of view. Certainly, the more concern for me is the defense. I want us to get stronger and not concede cheap goals,” the Englishman said.
The former Manchester City manager said he held a video analysis session with the defenders to try and improve their game. The team has conceded 10 goals so far.
Asked about Subrata Paul, Reid defended the India goalkeeper and said, “Subrata Paul is a very good goalkeeper, but we need to defend better in front of him.”
The 58-year old was happy that Pavel Cmovs would be back in the side after missing the game against Chenai following his double-booking in the earlier game against North East United FC here.
“Pavel is back from suspension—hopefully that will make us more solid through the middle. Pavel has been consistent, but I don't think he was consistent when he dived in (for rough tackles). He let himself down and the players down.
“Once you are being booed in a football match you have got a responsibility to stand up and not give away fouls. I was quite aggressive as a player but I never got sent off. I used my aggression and I used my brain, so the players have got to do that. He is a very very good defender. He was missed so I am hoping for a really good performance,” Reid said.
Reid also informed that marquee player Frederik Ljungberg will be out of action for a minimum of four weeks after sustaining a hamstring injury against the North East United on October 24.
“Hamstrings, as you all know, is soft tissue injury. From my experience in football, that it would be a minimum of four weeks (to recover). Now anything less than that is a bonus. He is working hard in the gym. The sooner the better obviously,” Reid said.
Kerala head coach David James, who is also the Blasters' goalkeeper, said the team has bounced back with the draw against Atletico de Kolkata and a win against Pune after two defeats but their performance, in a nutshell, is not up to the mark.
“As a manager I don't expect my team to go out and win games of football, I expect my team to go out there and perform. I believe that the squad we have got can win any game in ISL,” the former England goalkeeper said.
“The irony is that in some sense we are getting worse but we are getting better results. As a manager and a player, I have got to look back at things and work out why we are not continuing the decent performances. I thought North East was a very good performance, the game against Chennai, even more so.
“Kolkata was a scrap and Pune was a win but it wasn't the ideal win. Having said that it is a game of winning and doesn't matter how you win. We are starting to get the points which we want. If we can get the performances to match the points,I will be a very happy manager,” he added.
James further said central mid-fielder Victor Herrero Forcada has been allowed to go back to Spain to recover from his injuries.
“Victor has been allowed to go back to Spain because of an injury and he will be coming back, of course. He had been suffering a few injuries early on in the campaign,” he said.
On the match against Mumbai, he said, “I have heard stories that Nicolas Anelka is looking very good, which is slightly worrying considering I have played with him in Manchester City and I know how good he can be, but we are not going to be scared of any team.
“What would be more nice is to pick up more points before going to Kerala. This will be our fifth away game.”