In an exclusive interview with the Sandpit this week, Port captain David Rochela spoke to us about the club’s impressive first half of the season and shared his thoughts on what the rest of the season may hold.
“I think all the Port family is happy with 7th place and 28 points” he told us, adding that in his opinion Port’s best performance was the 3-1 win at Chiang Rai Utd. “They were on top of the league” David said, “but after Worawut’s penalty save we worked really hard and showed good team spirit, and I think we deserved the three points.” And what about those somewhat ‘high-spirited’ foreign fans in the tunnel? “Haha, we were shocked! We expected to see fans in the stadium but not in the tunnel. It was really funny!”
But whilst Port have had some excellent results against the top clubs this season, including that win at Chiang Rai, a win at Muangthong and a draw against Buriram, the team have struggled against weaker teams, with disappointing results against the likes of Thai Honda, Pattaya Utd and Sisaket, and David has no doubt as to what the problem is.
“We spoke in preseason and I told you that I had really good feelings for this season” he said. “If everyone concentrates we can do great things. But in T1 any team can beat another so you need extra concentration against small teams. The motivation must be the same against top teams or small ones.”
But despite Port’s occasional lapses, David is happy with coach Jadet’s consistent tactical approach. He told us: “Since we started the league we are using this 4-5-1 formation, with Sergio up front with Josimar or a little bit deeper. The team feels comfortable with this so I’m not really keen to do to many tactical changes.”
Of his teammates, David singles out two of his colleagues in particular for praise. “I’ve been impressed with Nitipong and Adisorn” he said. “I’ve known them for a long time but this season they are playing with more confidence and showing what they can do, which is a lot.”
And what about the second half of the season? Whilst many of us are excitedly dreaming of a top 6 finish or better, David’s ambitions are more modest. “To be honest I’m still looking at the table starting from the bottom” he said. “When we get enough points to be safe in T1 I will start to look up. I hope we can stay middle of the table without problems.”
As do we all! Big thanks as usual for your time David, and good luck for the rest of the season!