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Helvecia Futsal Club 5-3 Manchester Futsal Club - Match Report

by Nathan Linley

It was a disappointing afternoon in east London as Manchester went down 5-3 to reigning league champions London Helvecia.

Manchester had started off very brightly but went behind early on in the first half and conceding a second just before half-time. Despite this, they staged a second half comeback by clawing the game back to 3-2 only to be caught on the counter attack twice whilst going to fly-goalkeeper and conceding a further two goals.

Despite the result, first team coach Sergi Saldana has taken many positives from the game that can be taken forward in the next games. "As I said before the game, we are still trying to understand our new way to play and our new training methodologies. Nonetheless, we have competed during all of the match, and right up until the last second."

"We made mistakes today but the players are human and we need to make mistakes to find solutions. I am not too concerned at this stage."

"We conceded just before half time and it was 2-1 to Helvecia, we spoke at half time about the things that we should change during the second half but Helvecia quickly scored again. Despite the setback, we continued playing with high intensity and we got back to 3-2. We were competitive until the last 2 minutes and tried to play with the fly-keeper but it didn't go well."

"At the end I can draw positive conclusions, we can play better but we've played much worse, but with this attitude it will be difficult that the other teams beat us going forward. If we keep up our positive attitude during matches and training, we will have many joys this season."

Captain Sam Richardson has also remained upbeat despite the loss and says that the squad morale remains high going into their next game against Loughborough.

"Overall we can take the positives that we remained competitive throughout the game, considering we're still off the level and understanding we believe we can beat teams and haven't yet got the whole squad together. It also showed we are already making improvements and this proved to the players that the things we are trying to work on will have and impact the game. Helvecia, going off past form are probably seen as the current favourites, so to come away feeling slightly disappointed we couldn't tie it up in the last minutes speaks volumes."

The Manchester skipper admits the team made many mistakes today but feels that during the early stages there is plenty of time to iron them out.

"As we are still in a big learning process there's an incredible amount of detail we can improve on and most of the goals before we went fly came from our own mistakes or counter attacks. Similarly, we could have been better with the final ball and had more confidence in possession at times, but all things we can look to rectify. Put in perspective it was an encouraging start."

"The previous games have all been friendlies and we have literally tried to focus on each phase of play and have no concern with the result, so I was interested to see how he approached a proper game. All the preparation and being within the game environment was very similar to the friendlies and training, because they've been used to prepare us to know what to expect and what is expected from the players, but the tone and focus of the details were definitely adjusted to the competitive environment. We had a few periods in time outs and particularly half time, where he made it very clear what we needed to do differently and what was great to see was the squad took these messages, implemented them and improved our overall performance."

Manchester take on Loughborough University Futsal Club in what will be their first home game of the season this Sunday in the 14:30 kick-off at the National Cycling Centre, where the likes of Raducio King and Doug Reed are expected to return to the side after their appearances in the Indian Premier Futsal League.