Punjab FC coach Engelkes aims to treat every game as final

The Dutchman is aware of the job at hand. He is just getting started and wants to focus on the matches ahead.

Published: 14th April 2022 08:52 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th April 2022 08:52 PM   |  A+A-

RoundGlass Punjab FC head coach Ed Engelkes.

RoundGlass Punjab FC head coach Ed Engelkes.

Express News Service

BENGALURU: It is always a tough ask for any coach to take charge of a team midway through a competition. A lot of factors come into play, like learning about the players, the team's strengths and weaknesses and so on. It takes time to get the best from the players at his disposal. But Dutchman Ed Engelkes, who was appointed the new gaffer of RoundGlass Punjab FC last month, took his new role like a duck to water after Englishman Ashley Westood and the club mutually parted ways.

They have moved to the fourth position with 20 points in the I-League table and look well on course to seal their spot for the second phase.

At present, there are 13 teams with the top seven moving into the next stage, which will battle it out for the championship. The other six teams will fight to avoid relegation.

Engelkes’ first official game as the new manager was an immediate success earlier in the month with a 3-2 win over Sudeva FC. In fact, he has a cent-percent record with the club, winning all three matches so far. However, the Dutchman is aware of the job at hand. He is just getting started and wants to focus on the matches ahead.

RoundGlass will face TRAU FC at the Nihati Stadium in West Bengal on Friday and their last game in phase 1 will be against Gokulam Kerala.

"When you step on the field, as a team, you always want to improve. So we will treat every game as the final. If you want to be in your best shape, it is important to treat the last two games (in Phase 1) as the final and play to win. That is the aim of the game of football. If you do not approach it like this then people will get irritated, frustrated, not only the players, but the coaching staff too. Everybody is working hard to achieve the goal. You must always reward yourself with a good result because then you know all the hard work is not for nothing. You must do the best you can," said Engelkes in a virtual interaction on Thursday.

There is an air of confidence in the club, and why not. Their latest three-match winning streak includes an impressive 3-1 win over Mohammedan Sporting in the last game with Kurtis Guthrie, who had netted nine times so far, scoring a brace. They will need to come up with similar performances if they are to challenge for the title when the competition is going to be tighter.  

"We were competitive against them. The strategy worked, which is important. Players have got a lot of confidence with that game because they feel that we are making steps in how we want to play and against teams who are better organised and with more quality," said Engelkes.


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