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‘I have only one focus and that is to win the ISL’

An unsmiling martinet, David Platt has put his mind into correcting the errors and keeping the bubble alive. In an email interview to the The Hindu, the FC Pune City coach talks about the possibility of fielding Tuncay Sanli behind Adrian Mutu and the Indian players in the squad.

What would you consider to be a successful season?

I have only one focus and that is to win the ISL. From day one of accepting the job as a club we have worked towards that goal. Situations may arise such as injuries to key players and decisions going against you but we put a squad together to overcome that.

You have got talented strikers at your disposal… Have you ever thought of playing Tuncay behind Mutu?

It’s an option we have but up until the last couple of games I haven’t felt that both could sustain a full 90 minutes and be effective as to their characteristics. Tuncay, via his game time, is now getting to that level and as such it becomes more of a possibility.

Lenny Rodriguez and Didier Zokora have been phenomenal in front of the defence thus far. The return of Lenny will be key to your progress… Your thoughts…

Lenny has been exceptional since day one and is a real bonus for me. We have Eugene who also plays in that position but we knew he would be missing for International games. Lenny is versatile enough to occupy different roles and as such, as I say, he has been a real bonus.

Your team has not been solid in transition and defending crosses… Are you working on these areas?

In transition we have been fine. We are a team that has offensive players so inevitably there are times when you concede space to the opposition. The goals we have conceded can be attributed to errors that shouldn’t occur, and we have spoken and have worked to negate these.

Which are the teams that will make the last-four stage?

At this stage it’s hard to predict. Any team that records back-to-back wins is firmly in position to make the final four.

There is a general perception that the Indian players are technically sound, but tactically naïve. What is your take on that?

I don’t agree that they are tactically naive, but they often play against internationals who have learned through experience to be cute. You improve by playing against these kind of players and understanding that time and space on a football field are the same thing. Often players think they have more time but the internationals close the options down naturally very quickly and put them in difficulty. It will take time for them to get this experience as only by playing and learning can you do so.

Among the Indian players who has impressed you the most & why?

All my players have impressed me in different ways. It’s those I focus on a daily basis and so wouldn’t pass judgement on others.

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