U.P. Yoddha put in a convincing performance to defeat Dabang Delhi K.C. 50-33 on Saturday and book their place in the vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 7 playoffs. At the post-match press conference, coach Jasveer Singh, Monu Goyat, Shrikant Jadhav and Nitesh Kumar represented U.P. Yoddha, while Dabang Delhi K.C. coach Krishan Kumar Hooda and stand-in captain Meraj Sheykh took questions for their side. Excerpts are below.
Q. Did you think the team will be able to qualify based on their early-season performance?
Jasveer Singh: The team wasn’t doing too well at the start due to injuries. But we knew what the capability of this team was, so we weren’t deterred by those initial losses. However, we lost those matches by quite a big margin, which was, obviously, disappointing. But at no point did I doubt this team.
Q. How does it feel to score a Super 10 on return?
Monu Goyat: First of all, I am happy that we have reached the playoffs. That was our main aim while playing this match. Secondly, it does feel good to score a Super 10 because I am playing after a long time and I was able to give a good performance.
Q. What will the strategy be going forward?
Jasveer Singh: We have three matches left and we would like to rotate our squad to give a few opportunities to our bench players. The coming matches after that will be knockout matches so we would like to test our bench ahead of that.
Q. Would you disturb the settled combination?
Jasveer Singh: The others in the team are pretty good too and I think they deserve a chance to show what they have. In case we need them in the coming matches, we will know how to use them.
Dabang Delhi K.C.
Q. The result was not in your favour but some of the players performed quite well.
Krishan Kumar Hooda: Most of these players were in their rookie season excluding Meraj Sheykh. Considering that they did not have much experience, I think they performed really well. I am pretty sure that they will perform even better in the coming times. We owed them a chance at this stage, and I think they performed alright.
Q. Did the team miss the services of Naveen Kumar?
Krishan Kumar Hooda: He was rested according to the team strategy. Right now, we don’t have much to lose so it was important for us to give our younger players a look-in. We had this chance, so we decided to take it up.