Kareem speaks on winning against Dempo31-Oct, 2008
MMB: Congrats for the win. You must be happy with team's performance?
Kareem: Yes, I am very happy. We were playing well but were not able to win the matches. Today we were in a must win situation and Dempo being the last year's champion team and also added to this, we won the match with one man down. This also gave me lot of pleasure. The boys really played well today. Actually, I think the main problem with our team was injury to few key players. If you take 3-4 important players from any team, the balance of that team will falter for sure. Same thing happened with us. Only from last match we got more or less all key players back in our team. You can say, this is our second match with full team and team has delivered and I hope from now on team will perform like this.
MMB: Did you make any strategical change today?
Kareem: Not really. We started the match with 4-4-2 formation with Barreto and Baichung upfront, only I made 2 changes from last match. Sangram replaced injured Shilton and James Singh Sr. came in place of Lalkamal in right flank. We played quite well in first half and then in 30th minute Vashan got double yellow and got marching orders. I then had to make few strategical changes. I put Rakesh in stopper along with Odafe and put Marcos back in Rakesh's position as defensive medio, so the formation became 4-3-2. In 2nd half, after we got the goal, I changed the formation a little bit and made it 4-3-1-1 keeping Baichung as lone striker and I asked Barreto to play from little deep, sometimes assisting midfield and sometimes going up besides Baichung. I then thought of bringing Manju in place of Rakesh to strengthen the defence, but Rakesh was playing exceptionally well so I did not make the change. Then in 70th minute I replaced Baichung with Lalkamal and I put Barreto as lone striker and Lalkamal in Barreto's position. My team really played well with 1 man down. In 85th minute, team had already become tired and so I replaced Barreto and brought Manju and thus last few minutes I changed formation to 5-4 with no striker with Manju playing as extra stopper. In injury time, I brought Tulunga in place of James Singh Sr. (laughing) this you can say was a little time wasting change.
MMB: Congrats once again for the well deserved win.