Pune: When Ranko Popovic walks into the room he comes with his own aura, a charisma that can easily win someone over. On the touchline as well he’s one of the most animated people gesticulating and instructing and correcting his boys, never afraid to give one to match officials as well.
On Tuesday when he walked into the press conference room for his pre-match conference ahead of team’s first leg of the semi-final against Albert Rocca’s Bengaluru FC, he walked with the same aura around him as he gave insights about the big game.
“We have two games, tomorrow is first one and nothing will be decided tomorrow and both the games we have to be smart and give our 100 per cent, in both the games if we want to go in the final,” the 50-year-old Serbian coach said.
Marcelino (8) and Emiliano Alfaro (9) are leading the scoring charts for the clubs, and both players due to suspension could not play last two games together and that was evident from team’s results and speaking about their importance, the coach gave an example of none other than Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
“When you speak for Barcelona when Messi is suspended how do they feel? When Suarez is suspended how do they feel? I think for us it’s really important for both the players to be on the field, on top of their game, with other players to help them as well, as we play like a team” he said.
Be FC Pune City
The Stallions coach did not shy away from accepting that Bengaluru FC has been the best season in the league phase but said that FC Pune City would like to add the spice to the story.
“If we play our best game, we will be close to what we want. It will be difficult because we are playing the best team in the league, but tomorrow it the time when we want to be the part of the story. We want to make the story interesting and give it a bit of spice,”
The amicable coach signed off on a note where that he expects the team to play their original game and be FC Pune City.
But as usual when he was asked about the refereeing decisions, he quickly replied, “I want to be on the bench for these two matches, not in the stands!.” putting a smile on everyone’s face present in the room, but he also urged more respect from both the parties.