Mumbai: Sounding critical of Mumbai City FC defense in the previous game that they lost 1-5 to Chennayin FC, head coach Peter Reid wanted his team to not concede easy goals when they take on Kerala Blasters here tomorrow.
"We have got to defend better and we have got be a threat. We got to be more professional and disciplined in our defending and in attacking. We have to be a bit more ruthless. There have been some extenuating circumstances," said Reid here on Saturday.
"We didn't have probably our best attacker (Nicolas Anelka) in the first three games for obvious reasons. We got Andre (Moritz) back a 100 per cent, so I am expecting more from us from an attacking point of view. Certainly, the more concern for me is the defense. I want us to get stronger and not concede cheap goals," the Englishman said.
The former Manchester City manager said he held a video analysis session with the defenders to try and improve their game. The team has conceded 10 goals so far.
Asked about Subrata Paul, Reid defended the India goalkeeper and said, "Subrata Paul is a very good goalkeeper, but we need to defend better in front of him."
The 58-year old was happy that Pavel Cmovs would be back in the side after missing the game against Chenai following his double-booking in the earlier game against North East United FC here.
"Pavel is back from suspension -- hopefully that will make us more solid through the middle. Pavel has been consistent, but I don't think he was consistent when he dived in (for rough tackles). He let himself down and the players down.
"Once you are being booed in a football match you have got a responsibility to stand up and not give away fouls. I was quite aggressive as a player but I never got sent off. I used my aggression and I used my brain, so the players have got to do that. He is a very very good defender. He was missed so I am hoping for a really good performance," Reid said.
Unlike National Inter-State and Federation Cup, which had
respectively served as the selection trials for Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, the National Open has no such significance but it can serve as a platform for some new faces and youngsters to announce their arrival at the big stage.
Most of the top athletes, on the other hand, are not expected to exert too much, thus the meet may not see the best times or national records.
"I'm going for the gold at the ONGC National Open Athletics Championships. This is the last race of this season and I may not be able to focus on my timing," said Poovamma who won a bronze in 400m individual race and a gold in the 4x400m relay at the Incheon Asian Games.
Moreover, the throw events will not be held inside the main stadium but at the adjacent training facility. The main stadium has been booked for some time by the organisers of the ongoing Indian Super League football tournament.
The Delhi franchise of the ISL -- Delhi Dynamos -- has four more matches to host at the football pitch and the Sports Authority has apparently heeded to the ISL organisers' plea that any throw events may damage the central pitch.