What struck Pune FC coach Derrick Pereira most about his goalkeeper Subrata Pal's show in the ONGC 14th Nehru Cup was the consistency of India's top bar tender.
“It was an excellent performance from Subrata,” Pereira told the Hindustan Times from Kolkata where his team is playing the 114th IFA Shield.
“I feel that he (Subrata) does not have to prove anything to anyone. His display throughout the tournament and especially in the final and the penalty shootout showed that he is the No 1 goalkeeper in the country.”
Pereira pointed out that his consistency in every match was responsible for India's success. “He has performed consistently in every match and was instrumental in the three titles which India won,” the coach said.
Pereira also praised Subrata's commitment. “Subrata is a committed boy. I realised that when I spoke to him to sign for Pune FC. He will be as committed to us as he is to the national team.”
The coach can't wait for his star goalminder to join the boys (Pal returned to Kolkata on Tuesday morning). “I believe that Subrata's presence will raise the morale of the team. He will be a big motivator.” Having lost 1-2 to Air India in their Shield opener, Pune FC sure could do with some motivation.
Pereira also attributed India's good showing to some excellent teamwork.
“They supported each other and did well to match the much higher ranked Syrians in every department,” he said, referring to Monday's 6-5 victory over Syria who at 95 are 61 places above India.