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We are going to play attractively aggressive in ISL, says FC Pune City boss Ranko Popovic

The Serbian will make his managerial debut in the Indian Super League with FC Pune City in the 2017-18 season.

pune Updated: Oct 10, 2017 14:45 IST
Ashish Phadnis
Ashish Phadnis
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,ISL,Boss
Ranko Popovic.(HT PHOTO)

The Rajesh Wadhawan Group-owned Indian Super League (ISL) club, FC Pune City, recently appointed Ranko Popovic as their new head coach. The Serbian will make his managerial debut in the Indian Super League with FC Pune City in the 2017-18 season. Popovic began his managerial career in 2001 with Austrian club TuS FC Arnfels followed by Austrian club FC Pachern, Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the J1 league and FC Spartak Subotica in the Serbian SuperLiga. In 2014-15, he coached Segunda Division club Real Zaragoza. A season later, he joined Thai premier league champions Buriram United FC where he won the Thai League Cup and Mekong Club Championship.

Here, the experienced coach speaks about his new assignment and his views about the team management. Excerpts.

First impressions of the team

To make some impression, to say something serious, we need to spend time together. What is important is when I saw the people of the club, the players; they are all ready to do what is needed for this season to be a memorable one.

We have new coaches and players who are excited like the club management. The fact is that the guys are coming back after a long break. We have to bring them to the right position for me to talk about how good they are and bring them to a place where it benefits the club.

But yes, I get positive vibes. It’s a nice group of people. There is good communication and that’s makes this a good base for working. The most important thing is the players and our job is to now condition them in a way that they make a good team, and to show faith in the people who have signed them.

Importance of man-management

Man-management is important. All the people here bring some qualities and the team goal shall always remain at a level higher. But, quality is everywhere; it’s a question of how you take this to the next level. That’s where man management comes in. Every player is a human. They have their personal lives and their problems can affect the team, but we are here like a family for everyone.

Most of us are away from our families. We, therefore, must have a relationship like a family to grow for the benefit of all, where everyone has equal rights to express themselves.

The way everyone conducts themselves on and off the pitch will help us make a decision which represents this family on the big stage called ISL, because representing a club is a big thing and one must take pride in it.

To do all that, we have to be dedicated and give our 100 per cent. What future holds for us is something we have to wait and watch. When you give 100 per cent and lose, you lose, but you are not a loser. That’s the difference. This is what the mentality has to be, to give your 100 per cent. Therefore, when the group is like a family, then everyone feels important and motivated. This in turn means that everyone wants to give everything, because I need to take their everything to make this a success story.

Structure of ISL

I can’t say that I knew about ISL as much as Spanish or Japanese football. I got to know about it through a few friends and Diego Forlan, whom I have managed earlier. I saw a few games of ISL earlier and I was always curious. The games are very competitive. I was pleasantly surprised with the level shown. I still don’t know enough and I will learn along the way.

Expectations from the club

What I want, what we can, and what is expected, is the question here. If there is a big gap, then it’s a big problem. We have to bring all the three things closer. My way to play until now was to lead the game. I don’t believe in waiting or counter attack. I like to play football to win the game, always score one more goal than your opposition. Our style, I hope, will be attractively aggressive.

Team composition

First we need to make the team. I know the players we have picked are good. Quality, performance, attitude, personality and everything football will help us decide the team composition. Club management has done a good job in signing players. We now need to make a good team out of it and we have very little time, but then, you have to work with what you have .

First Published: Oct 10, 2017 00:05 IST