Sunday, November 15, 2009

Talking to the press

Scott O'Donell talks to the press after the match. That's my head on the right. Pic: Tep Phany
Microphones were thrust under the chin of Cambodia's national coach Scott O'Donell immediately after his team's successful victory over HAGL in the BIDC Cup final and these are a few of his comments. "I am very happy to win the tournament. It's great, look at the crowd, everyone is very happy and it's great for the Cambodian team to get some success on home soil. The fans have been excellent in the way they've supported the boys tonight and throughout the competition. This has been a very important part of our preparations for the SEA Games. The whole tournament was aimed at that. Four games in six days is what we'll be up against in the SEA Games. We'll want to do as well as we can but as I said to the players to give me everything they've got - I can't ask for anymore than that."
Scott O'Donell answers questions from Apsara TV's Norodom Buddhapong
After the medal ceremony, I managed a couple of minutes with Scott for a more in-depth review of the game.
"This has been very important preparation, we're playing against good teams here and we've been making some mistakes in training and in games and we'll get punished when we play against good teams, and we got punished again tonight. We've got to start learning that we can't keep making the same mistakes, that's what was very frustrating tonight. Credit to the players, they worked hard but hard work is not enough, we've got to get smarter.
"(After leading 2-0) we made silly mistakes. We can't do that, we can't give the ball away, I said at halftime we were giving too many balls away, our plan was just to keep it simple. we scored a couple of good goals ourselves in the first-half, played some great attacking football and then we switched off; you lose concentration and you get punished for it. We expected their number 5 to start - for me he's their best player - and the tempo rose when he came onto the field in the second-half - he was one of the big differences in the second-half, they became more direct in their attack and caused us problems, and we didn't really cope.
"We made a couple of changes, I'm not taking credit for the comeback but fresh legs and a good cross into the box from Smey. I must say it 20 times a training session, if you get good, decent crosses into the box, you've got a good chance of scoring. We got a good cross in and a good finish from Pheak. I was very happy for Chhaya scoring his two goals, he works his backside off and I don't think he gets the credit he deserves. He's still got to work on his composure in the attacking third and keeping hold of the ball, but I'm very happy for him that he scored two goals today. He's a good boy, he works hard and he deserved it.
"The SEA Games are coming up quick. We're up against some tough teams and we've got to start learning from our mistakes. It's going to be difficult as it is and if we gift them possession and make it hard for ourselves, we're gonna be in big trouble. We still need to improve our anaerobic fitness - sprint, recover, sprint, recover. There's not much time but we've got to get sharper, make those runs and recover quickly. I'm very happy with some of the boys, whilst others we've still got to work on. There's still places up for grabs in the final 20 for the SEA Games and in the starting eleven. If boys come in and do well, they'll keep their positions in the team."
Caught on camera
Scott O'Donell receiving his winners medal at last night's ceremony
The FFC president & Commander of the Royal Gendarmerie Sao Sokha congratulates Scott on the team's success

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