David Platt got pretty emotional while talking about FC Pune City's visit to a charity foundation to make donations. He spoke at length on how footballers should not get too carried away because they were lucky enough to do what they enjoyed so much. He also said how people grumble about little things and that all these complains were 'nothing' compared to what the underprivileged children of India were going through.
But, that was about life. When it comes to picking teams in the Indian Super League, Platt is clear about not letting emotion get in the way of his job, which is "to pick the best team for the match, keeping in mind the balance of the squad and the best solutions available on the bench for situations which may arise in a match."
That's not to say he doesn't feel bad for those he leaves out. Platt has a fully fit squad and at least two good players in every position.
"The hardest thing for me to do is pick a starting XI, in a sense that we have 25-26 players to choose from, so you can say it's easy - but harder when you are leaving players out. It hurts and plays on your mind when players are not involved and you know they want to play. Unfortunately I can only pick eleven starters. And as a manager if I let emotions cloud these decisions then I won't be doing my job properly," Platt said.
Platt will have to be at his practical best again to choose from his roster as his side face Kerala Blasters on Tuesday at The Balewadi. His biggest headache, one would think, is picking two out of Yendrick Ruiz, Adrian Mutu, Kalu Uche and Tuncay Sanli up front. In all of Pune's matches, Platt has changed his strikers. As it happens, every time Platt makes a change in the front two, it has made a change to Pune's approach mid-game.
So is he still figuring out his best strike partnership?
"I'm not experimenting with strikers and I am happy to have them all fit. So, it's not a headache and I would gladly have one more (striker). It's about not overloading them, figuring out their different characteristics which will suit the match and maintain their freshness," he said at the pre-match press conference.
Platt will face fellow English manager Peter Taylor -- and with Kerala losing three matches in a row, he will come up against a side which is desperate to get points on the board after a winning start to the campaign.
"What is important is we win some matches and we've already played five. I think we could have got a point or three in every game that we have lost. We didn't because of individual mistakes, not because of team shape or anything like that. I know David (Platt) and he is very organised and his team will hold shape. But we have come to win," the former Sunderland manager said.
To be fair to Kerala, their losses to Delhi Dynamos and FC Goa were undeserved. Especially the latter, where they took the lead only to concede two soft goals. Their strikers have also been wasteful in the final third despite a creative midfield. Victor Pulga, who has been their best playmaker so far, has recovered from a dead leg and is in line to play and there are no fresh injury concerns.
Pune's challenge will be to see off a side which is on the pan -- and if NorthEast United and Mumbai City FC are examples to go by -- then the Indian Super League is notorious in throwing up an odd sequence of wins after a run of losses.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
Updated Date: Oct 27, 2015 10:24:04 IST