Stand-in Tailevu Naitasiri coach Priyant Mannu says frustrating Tavua’s defence was key in their 1-0 win over the gold miners in Round 11 of the Digicel Fiji Premier League at Ratu Cakobau in Nausori on Sunday.
After a goalless first half, Mannu said his message to the players in the changing room was to play more physical football.
“We knew the importance of this game in the build-up for BOG and filling the gap in the DFPL,” Mannu said.
“Half time I kept it simple. We were not settled in the first half and we were not playing our football but I told the boys to keep on pressing hard.”
“Tavua was getting tired and we pressed high and managed to score that goal in the last minute. Knowing Tavua they had a draw against Suva last week so we had to keep the boys on the tip because we knew Tavua won’t be an easy team.”
Mannu added that despite the side losing its key players such as Epeli Valevou and Mohammed Naizal in the mid-season transfer window in June, the young players stepped up their game.
“In the transfer window, we had lost a couple of players but most of the players stayed. I’m happy with the performance and glad that we got the three points.”
“Football is not an 11-player game, the subs also play a huge role. We lacked composure today and we were not settled.”