Disappointing we didn’t score at least two more goals: Herbert
Mumbai: Following their 2-0 win over nine-member Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League game here, North East United FC’s head coach Ricki Herbert said he was disappointed that his team couldn’t defeat their under-strength opponents by a bigger margin.
“It’s not good to see only 8-9 players on the field, but it was not my call. But it was disappointing that we did not score at least two more goals,” Herbert said at the post-match press conference.
Mumbai were reduced to nine men following a freakish hamstring injury to marquee player and second half substitute Fredrik Ljungberg in the 73rd minute and a double booking for centre-back Pavel Cmovs.
The former New Zealand national coach, however, said his team looked a better side after the first half.
“It was tough for us in the first 45 minutes and Mumbai are also a huge side who were playing at home and had won 5-0 (against FC Pune City). But at the end of the day, we were probably the better side. There is still a lot of work to do though,” said Herbert.
With this victory, North East United FC have now moved to second spot in the table behind leaders Athetico de Kolkata.
The coach also praised goalkeeper T P Rehenesh, who hails from Kerala, and said it was important to retain confidence in him after he had made a few errors in the previous game.
“It was important to give him that confidence and he did well today, was good in cutting off crosses,” said Herbert.
Herbert insisted that one of the main goals of the tournament was to see the Indian players grow in stature and for that he said he would take whatever decisions necessary even if it means losing a couple of games.
Herbert heaped praise on Brazilian medio Felipe de Castro, who notched the team’s second goal, and predicted he would be one of the finest midfielders to be seen in the ISL at the end of the tournament.
On Koke, Herbert said, “I was tempted not to play him today. He’s played in three games in six days. But he’s a good player, is a big influence and can win games. I took him of as a precaution.”