Labasa Coach Thomas Vulivuli says his half time message boosted the confidence in players to come from behind and hold Nadi 2-2 in their second Group B match of the 2023 Digicel Fiji FACT on Saturday.
Nadi led 2-1 at the break and Vulivuli said his message to the Babasiga Lions was to keep applying the pressure on the Nadi defence.
“We knew things would get tough because Nadi displayed really strong football but we regrouped and matched their energy in the second half.”
“I just told the boys that we still have the chance of scoring and we need to make the right decision. We rushed into the match from the first minute and made mistakes so that allowed Nadi to capitalise and they scored.”
“Message was simple, keep applying pressure and there will be a time when their defence will get tired and make mistakes, and that is when we need to step up and score.”
“The boys executed that and we got the equaliser although it was a late one but we are still in the business and don’t count us out.”
Vulivuli added the side will need to lift its performance in the crucial encounter against Tailevu Naitasiri while vying for a spot in the semifinal on Sunday.
“Players will need to step up to the position they are given and stop lacking at concentration because we have seen Naitasiri play and got an idea of what to expect from them.”
“We need to be ready for the business end of the tournament because that match will decide our fate in the tournament. We need to improve playing in as a bunch throughout the match rather than coming from a goal down.”
“It’s going to be a knockout match and we want to stay in the tournament and for that, we have to give our entire best. Whatever we did today is a lesson to improve and be better tomorrow.”
Labasa will take on Tailevu Naitasiri at 11am.