PKL 2019 | Puneri Paltan are currently understaffed in left cover department, reveals Anup Kumar

PKL 2019 | Puneri Paltan are currently understaffed in left cover department, reveals Anup Kumar

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After their loss against Haryana Steelers, Puneri Paltan coach Anup Kumar has mentioned that the weakness in the defence is evident because they don’t have a permanent left cover as they are understaffed. He also talked about Nitin Tomar’s performance and Pune’s chances of going into the playoffs. 

Puneri Paltan have won four out of their 12 games and have lacked consistency this season. They lost their last match on Monday against Haryana Steelers by a 14-point margin. They started well in raiding as Nitin Tomar was getting points in successive raids. They deflected an all-out attempt in the starting but weren’t able to hold off till long and ended the first half with a scoreline of 11-18. Once Haryana got the lead, they built on it and Vikas Kandola single-handedly wreaked havoc and finished the match with 11 points to his name.

“He’s an excellent player. And obviously if you don’t tackle him as a team and with conviction, he'll make you pay. It’s not as if we don’t possess the ability to tackle him. The issue is that we are currently understaffed in the Left Cover department. Surjeet's been filling in, but he too has been a bit under the weather. That is obviously a concern right now, but sure enough, we'll be back to full strength soon,” Puneri Paltan’s coach said on Vikas’s performance in the post-match press conference.

In the raiding department, Nitin Tomar showed signs of returning to form and scored eight points but the point of concern for him will be that he also got out five times while raiding. He was supported well by ‘super sub’ Pankaj Mohite who scored seven points.

“He’s fit, he’s playing well. He’s scoring raid points, but he’s also being tackled a lot. He’s scoring eight or so but is giving up six to seven as well. He needs to pace his raids and attack when necessary, and not at all times,” Anup commented on Nitin’s performance.

However, it was their defence that disappointed them as nobody apart from Surjeet Singh, Shubham Shinde and Manjeet were able to score any points and their total points combined were just eight. Skipper Surjeet scored five of those points and was the most successful defender of the mach. The inability of the defence is definitely going to bother the team as they are currently second last on the points table and far from qualifying spots.

“We have fought tooth and nail in every game, and we need to continue doing that. Obviously missing out on a point today was not ideal, but if we keep aiming for that solitary consolation prize, it would mean nothing in the end. We have 10 games left. We need to treat them all like our last. If we win eight of those, we will qualify for the playoffs, I believe,” Anup said on their chances of getting into the playoffs.

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