Puneri Paltan coach Anup Kumar has mentioned that his team must play for their own now and play for the fans who have always backed the team in the PKL. Anup has further added that Pankaj Mohite will have a bigger impact in the league next year after delivering for the team in season 7.
Puneri Paltan got the better of Telugu Titans last evening by 53-50 in a high-scoring thriller and knocked the Hyderabad-based side out of the season. It was the highest-scoring game ever in the history of the league as 103 aggregate points were scored by the two teams on the mat. Now, the Paltan have only one game left and they are already out of the race for the next round. However, Anup revealed that he has asked his boys to give their best and play for their supporters.
“Look even though we are out of the playoffs race, I told my players at the start of the game that it’s time to play, so go out there and prove yourselves. I told them forget about the playoffs, go out there and play for your pride. There’s no use thinking what’s the point of playing now that we are out of the playoffs. We must play for ourselves and play for our fans who come to support us in the stadium. And hopefully climb up the standings, which will be good for us,” Anup said during the post-match press conference.
Speaking about the last game, the former PKL champion explained, “The match was good, the team played pretty well today. If we look at Telugu Titans, then we can see that they didn’t even play their main team. It would be nice if Vishal Bhardwaj and Abozar Mohajermighani had played but Siddharth Desai was playing and we tackled him at the start, which helped the confidence of our defence.”
Puneri Paltan had few of the players who made a good impact in the league and one of them is young raiding sensation Pankaj Mohite who scored 110 raid points in only 16 games this season. Anup heaped praise on the youngster and hoped that he will scale greater heights in the next season.
“Pankaj Mohite has played well. He didn’t start many games in the beginning of the league as we opted to mostly use him from the bench. He has delivered for us whenever he has been given an opportunity. There are similarities between Naveen Kumar’s performances last season and Pankaj Mohite’s performances this campaign. I feel Pankaj will have as big an impact next year as Naveen is having in the ongoing season,” the Puneri Paltan coach explained.
Pune will now face UP in the latter’s home next and Anup is hopeful of a win. “I feel that we will beat U.P. Yoddha in our next game. They have a good defence and Shrikant Jadhav has been playing well this year. The three main players for them are the two Corners and Shrikant. If those players perform, it will be difficult for any team, not just us. If we can get the better of their defence and tackle Shrikant early on, then we can beat them.
“Rishank is a quality player but he’s had to endure several injuries over the last two years and continuous injuries affects the confidence of players. He just needs someone to motivate him and give him the necessary confidence because he’s still a very good player,” Anup concluded.