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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

FC Pune City look in shambles as stallions sit bottom of the table after six games in ISL 2018

After parting ways with their head coach Miguel and putting Pradhyum in charge, the stallions are yet to register a single win and are one of the only teams in the division to do so

pune Updated: Nov 09, 2018 15:30 IST
Pranav Shahaney
Pranav Shahaney
Hindustan Times, Pune
FC Pune City’s Adil Ahmed Khan (orange) and Jeje Lalpekhlua of Chennaiyin FC in action during match 30 of the Hero Indian Super League 2018 (ISL) held at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati sports complex stadium in the city on November 6.
FC Pune City’s Adil Ahmed Khan (orange) and Jeje Lalpekhlua of Chennaiyin FC in action during match 30 of the Hero Indian Super League 2018 (ISL) held at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati sports complex stadium in the city on November 6.(Vipin Pawar /HTPHOTO)
         

Six games into the Indian Super League (ISL) season five, The FC Pune city (FCPC) are going through perilous times. After scaling the mountain tops en route to their semi-final finish last time around, it has been a completely different story for the club this season.

Failure in retaining Ranko Popovic - the man who brought success to the club – has proven to be the beginning of the end of what seemed to look like a revolution at this time last year. Despite managing to keep hold of their core players in Marcelinho, Emiliano Alfaro and Adil Khan, the team has seized to gel as a cohesive unit, which has, in turn, affected their performances on the pitch.

After a decent pre-season that saw the then FCPC head coach Miguel Angel Portugal instil his philosophy into the team, the fans expected for positive vibes from the very first game of the new campaign, but were left disappointed, as six games in, the stallions are yet to register a single win – being one of the only teams in the division to do so.

Their campaign began with an away point against the Delhi Dynamos. Despite being the better team for majority of the 90 minutes, the capital outfit ended up conceding a late equaliser to Diego Carlos, which forced them to share the spoils, handing a fortuitous point to the stallions.

Rather than building on the away point, the Pune outfit capitulated in their following two games, putting in hapless performances against Mumbai City FC and Bengaluru FC. They lost the game to their cross-state rivals 2-0 while they were humbled in front of their own fans at the Balewadi sports complex when Bengaluru scored three past them.

With only one point after three games, the management decided that it was the right time to part ways with their head coach Miguel and officially announced the split on the October 24, putting Pradhyum Reddy in charge of the first-team affairs as an interim manager.

So far, the experiment of handing the reins over to Reddy hasn’t proven to work as he has watched his side succumb to two 4-2 defeats at the hands of FC Goa and Chennaiyin FC and a draw at home to Kerala Blasters – a game that the hosts would’ve won had it not been for Alfaro’s missed spot kick.

With only two points in six games, fans have every reason to worry as they’ve watched their side put in one abject performance after the other. There have been signs of improvement on the offensive end under Reddy, but conceding an average of three goals a game is certainly not the secret to win football matches. The stallions play Atlético de Kolkata (ATK) next on the November 10th and before their contest against Jamshedpur later this month, they’re expected to announce a permanent manager to bring back the good days.

First Published: Nov 09, 2018 15:29 IST

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