U.P. Yoddha captain Nitin Tomar admitted that his side gets edgy in crunch situations after Haryana Steelers managed to steer the game away from the home side in the final few minutes during their VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5 clash on Saturday.
Lucknow went down 29-36 to Haryana at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium despite raucous home support and staying ahead of their opponents during most part of the match, only to lose their lead in the last four minutes and collapsing to a seven-point defeat.
"The team is playing well. It just gets a little nervous [towards the end of the matches]," said Tomar during the post-match press conference. "We have noticed we are lacking there. We have also identified who gets nervous in the team. We'll discuss this, not to get nervous."
The Yoddha lost their previous match to U Mumba 34-37, their lead slipping with just six minutes remaining on the clock. Before that, they lost an eight-point advantage in the last five minutes as their match against Patna Pirates ended in a tie.
Rambir Singh Khokhar, coach of Haryana Steelers, meanwhile conceded that the final stages of the match were indeed tense but added that captain Surender Nada’s defence and Vikas Kandola's raiding ensured they emerged on top.
Kandola made full use of the Yoddha’s nervousness and changed the course of the match by collecting nine points, with five of his last eight raids being successful. "The captain, coach and Mohit (Chhillar) don't allow me to come under any pressure," young Kandola said after the match.
Meanwhile, having ended their eight-match winless streak after their triumph over U Mumba earlier in the evening, Telugu Titans received a much-needed shot in the arm. "The youngsters gave us the confidence," said Telugu Titans captain Rahul Chaudhari. "The raiding department of U Mumba is good because they have the best raiders in their squad and we thought that if we could contain them then it will give us the confidence for the upcoming matches."
"If the defence had performed [like this] in the previous matches, then it would have been easier for us," he added.