That was the first comment from head coach Bino George after Kerala’s Santosh Trophy’s South Zone qualifiers that concluded here on Sunday evening.
“Our first two matches were easy so they thought Puducherry would be nothing, that was why there were too many mispasses. They played without discipline, without football attitude,” Bino, Kerala’s only AFC Pro License coach, told Sportstar after his boys’ last match at the Nehru Stadium here.
“It’s a lesson for them. I think they can perform well in the Santosh Trophy’s final round. They know the next series of matches will be tough, so they will put up that sort of defence and give the opponents the respect they deserve. Since the Santosh Trophy finals are in Kerala, we have that responsibility to perform well.”
Bino feels that he has to work on the team’s defence but pointed out that he has an issue getting quality under-21 players.
“I want to work on our defence, I want to make one or two changes. We need to play three under-21 players in the first 11 but our under-21 players have not had many competitions, so it’s tough to get good players in that age group.
“That is an issue we are facing. But I think all teams will have this problem.”
This time the Santosh Trophy’s 10-team final phase will be without Goa, which lost by a lone goal to Gujarat late last month in Bhavnagar. Services, West Bengal and Punjab are some of the teams which have made the cut.