For new FC Pune City coach Miguel Angel Portugal, the Wednesday’s fixture against Delhi Dynamos is a kind of homecoming. The Spaniard was Dynamos’ coach for the previous season and saw his side finish in the eighth position. Speaking to reporters at a press conference in New Delhi, Portugal said, “For me, it is great to be back again this year. But now, I am here for Pune. I have good memories from Delhi. But in football, you fight to win. You come to be Champions.”
Talking about his decision to move to the Pune franchise, Portugal moaned his previous club for financial strains finances. “Last season, we had the worst budget (at Delhi Dynamos). And now in Pune, we have a (better) budget. It is very important that you have the best budget and you buy the best players,” he said.
One of the biggest loss for the Stallion’ this season is Marcos Tebar, who has returned to Dynamos this year. On being questioned how his absence would affect the club, Portugal joked that the Spanish midfielder does not want to play with him.
“Marcos do not want to play with me. I go to Delhi, he goes to Pune. I go to Pune, he goes to Delhi. Tebar won’t play with me. He has played under me when we were in Real Madrid B between 2003 to 2005 in Castilla when he was 18-19 years old,” the coach said. On a serious note, he added: “He (Tebar) is a good player, and yes Delhi will benefit from him.”
Under Portugal, Dynamos were seen playing possession-based football and the 62-year-old added that he would be following a similar philosophy with his new club. “Yes, I would be looking to instill similar football. My philosophy is all about possession. I think for entering into the danger areas, to target danger areas, you need to keep possession.”
Despite Ian Hume, who signed for the club this year, being injured and out for first half of the season, Portugal stressed he is not too worried about his absence. “Iain Hume is not a problem for now. If any players complain with injuries, then that is a problem for now. But currently, Hume is not a concern, since he is already out.”
On being asked if he would look to exploit his knowledge of Dynamos during the match, Portugal said, “Yes, I know the Delhi players very well, and it might come in handy for me in the pitch tomorrow.”
He added: “Even though when it comes to a match, it will be 11 vs 11.”
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