Kuala Lumpur City head coach Bojan was all smiles, joking around with members of the media before the start of the post match press conference, following the Red & White’s third victory in the league this season, prevailing 3-2 at home against Penang on Tuesday.
The City Boys were cruising to a comfortable win, leading 3-0 until the 80th minute, when a late fightback from the Panthers saw the visitors score two goals in the last 10 minutes, creating some finger nail biting moments for the Sampai Mati Kuala Lumpur faithful, as Penang went in search for the equaliser in the dying seconds of the game.
Bojan laid the blame for the late drama in Cheras squarely on tiredness amongst his players while sharing his opinion of the proceedings.
“It was (an) interesting game for (the) fans. After three nil, I think that we played 70 minutes really well. And then (in the) last 20 minutes, maybe we feel fatigued because of the match that we played three days earlier (last Saturday vs Pahang). Penang didn’t play any game, so this is where they get some space. And this is where they score(d) goal(s).”
On questions from the media if the City Boys were over confident in our approach towards the tail end of the match, Bojan disagreed.
“I don’t think it was complacency, it was more fatigue. You can see we lost the shape in midfield where we dominate(d) (for) most of the match. This is where we start(ed) to get further from the (Penang) player(s), and this is where mistakes happen”.
Using Kenny’s performance in the game as an example, Bojan explained how a fresh participant in the game is better conditioned to stick to the plan throughout the entire duration of a game, compared to someone who was worn and exhausted.
“Today you can see that Kenny who didn’t play three days ago, he was focused, he never made any mistake, but players who play(ed) (in the) last game (vs S Pahang), they had a few moments when they were forgetting things, what to do”:
Continuing, he described the two goals conceded were down to player errors which has been quite prevalent this year, a little too much for his liking.
“Both goals were very cheap, our mistakes, again individual mistakes which is not the first time this year. So, this is something that we need to work on it. But at the end, it was interesting for fans as I said.”
He acknowledged that he has his work cut out in fixing the problems at the back, but he was pleased of the effort upfront.
“We definitely can improve our defending. I think, attackingly we improved a lot from the beginning of the season. We look much more dangerous. Attackingly, we’re at a much higher level but defensively we have these ‘gila’ moments, ‘gila’ minutes that we need to cut (out) and mostly are individual mistakes.”
Answering another question from the floor, Bojan pointed out the contrast between this win and the loss to S Pahang.
“Sri Pahang was playing (in a) different way. We also create(d) lots of chances but we didn’t score. Today, the difference was we were scoring. Even (when) we missed the penalty, (it) could (have) be(en) more.”
The 50 year old deflected questions on the City Boys’ plans for the upcoming Malaysian League transfer window.
“(The) transfer window (is) always depending of the budget that you have. It’s very easy. I can tell you I want Messi but he doesn’t want to come because we offer too small money. It all depends on the budget, this one better you talk to my management.”
Adding further, he said,
“You can always bring (in) the player, it all depends how much money (you have). Our budget is one of the smallest in the league, I cannot ask for (such requests).
Ending the session, Bojan paid tribute to the fighters within his team, specially mentioning Irfan and Kenny for credit with their excellent commitment to the cause wherever and whenever required. He also spoke of the young talents within their ranks who have been waiting for opportunities to play,
“Irfan can play anywhere. Physically he’s gifted. Today, I gave him to play left full back and he play really well. So, he can play any position for me. Kenny also enter(ed) (the game), he’s not (a) natural stopper, he’s a defensive midfielder. We have a number of young players who are coming (up) but these young players need to have some matches where we can put them in, they don’t have enough experience (at the moment) but they also can be good in the future.”
To read the match report of KL City vs Penang on 10/5/2022 (Super League), please click https://kualalumpurfootball.com/2022/05/10/bojan-on-the-match-ahead-against-penang-fc/
To watch the highlights of KL City vs Penang on 10/5/2022 (Super League), please click https://youtu.be/y_OIXWteksI
To watch the complete match of KL City vs Penang on 10/5/2022 (Super League), please click https://youtu.be/dYJ2WMGrIGg