New Delhi, Dec 1 (IANS) Delhi Dynamos won’t take their foot off the pedal regardless of their qualification to the Indian Super League (ISL) semi-finals and would treat their remaining two home league matches with the utmost seriousness to overcome their deficiencies, Norwegian defender John Arne Riise said on Tuesday.
Dynamos will face bottom-placed Kerala Blasters on Thursday and second positioned FC Goa on Sunday. They are third in the standings with 21 points from 12 matches, two behind leaders Atletico de Kolkata, and have confirmed a top four spot for the play-offs. But that won’t act as a distraction for the team bursting with confidence, who want to win both these matches also. They will be at their competitive best and won’t be viewing the games as mere tune-up ties ahead of the crunch game.
“We will remain positive despite already qualifying. We want to win the two matches and gain more confidence. We will remain 100% competitive,” Riise said here, in an interaction organised by Red FM. Riise was, however, quick to point out that despite achieving their initial objective, Dynamos had a long way to go to realise their “ultimate” dream of winning the football tournament. Dynamos have to address the deficiencies shown in matches, primary among them being their inability to score goals, having scored the fewest goals (13) in the competition so far, together with seventh-placed Mumbai City FC.
Their campaign has been structured around a stable defensive unit, led by Riise, who have conceded the lowest number of goals along with Atletico (14). Riise, the former Liverpool and Roma star, identified the problem area and said they would try to find a solution to the problem in the forthcoming games. “Roberto (coach) wants goals. But he also wants a strong defence. We have to sort out our defensive unit first and from there we can build our attacks. The important thing is to fight together, play as a unit and hopefully that will lead us to goals,” the 35-year-old said.