After taking an early lead in their second home game against Puneri Paltan, Dabang Delhi K.C. failed to maintain the momentum and went down 34-29 to the visitors on Saturday. It was a familiar story for the Meraj Sheykh-led outfit as they have managed to win only 4 of their 14 games played so far. Addressing the media at the post-match press conference, Delhi’s Nilesh Shinde felt that lack of aggression in the opening minutes of their encounters often leads to the team coming under pressure later in the game.

“The only solution for us is if we play aggressively right from the start instead of doing in the closing minutes as we often do,” said Shinde, “We are losing matches after being in the lead. We have to play well throughout and maintain our lead if we are to win our remaining matches.”

Shinde also conceded that it was his side’s defensive lapses that ultimately led to their downfall. “Our defence was not set and made a lot of mistakes because of which the lead shifted towards them [Pune] eventually,” said Shinde before ending on a positive note by saying, “We have 8 matches left to play and if we win all of them then we still stand a chance of making the play-offs.”

Pune coach B.C. Ramesh, meanwhile, was all praise for young all-rounder Monu and felt that it was his High-5 performance that won his side the game. He also said that having their home leg in the final stages of the league could prove to be an advantage for his side. Captain Deepak Hooda, however, was sceptical about thinking that far ahead. “In Pro Kabaddi we cannot predict anything for sure. We are trying our best to reach the top. There are a lot of matches yet to be played. We focus on every match, one at a time,” insisted the Puneri Paltan captain.