With an outstanding second half display, Gujarat Fortunegiants secured their first win of the campaign against Puneri Paltan at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Thursday. For Gujarat Fortunegiants, coach Manpreet Singh and captain Sunil Kumar took questions whereas Puneri Paltan were represented by coach Ashan Kumar and captain Girish Maruti Ernak.
Q: Your comments on today’s game?
Manpreet Singh: Every team takes one to two matches to get set. This is what happened with us last season as well. We are happy because our hard work has paid off, we got our strategies right today. Puneri Paltan is a very strong team. They are a well-balanced team with strong raiders and defenders, so to beat them makes me very proud of my young team.
Q: Your thoughts on the refereeing?
Manpreet Singh: They are also humans... It was a thrilling, exciting match. Anything could have happened. When you are under that sort of pressure, you feel that they’re giving decisions against you. All in all, it was a great match and the referees did a great job of not succumbing to the pressure.
Q: What do you have to say about your defence? Last year you had a very experienced corner pairing but this year they’re very young.
Manpreet Singh: As I said before, each team needs one or two matches to settle down. In the earlier matches, Sunil (Kumar) didn’t have enough support and was doing everything himself. Today, everyone was supporting him. (Ruturaj Shivaji) Koravi did very well today. He used his learnings from the first two games and applied himself.
Q: Where did it go wrong today?
Ashan Kumar: We gave away three cheap self-out points and that cost us the game.
Q: Thoughts on the raiding department?
Ashan Kumar: (Nitin) Tomar was outstanding yet again. Apart from that, we didn’t see much success. We’ll address that before out next game.
Q: Rinku Narwal came on as a sub late in the game and looked good. Will he feature more often?
Girish Maruti Ernak: Once he is fully fit, he’ll start matches and we’ll have better balance in defence.