Edachery Bhaskaran's reign as Tamil Thalaivas coach came to end on Friday as the veteran decided to step down after a string of unfavourable results.
Former India coach J. Udayakumar, who guided the nation to Asian Games gold medals in 2002, 2006 and 2014, will take charge of the side for the remainder of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL 2019) season.
"We have another nine games in hand if we win seven of them, then we still have a chance of making the playoffs," Udayakumar told Sportstar . "It seems difficult, but I am looking forward to the challenge," he added.
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Tamil Thalaivas endured a poor start to PKL 2019 and is languishing in 11th spot, in the 12 team league, with 27 points from 13 matches. The side captained by Ajay Thakur hasn't managed a win in its last six matches and adding salt to the wound is the fact it failed to register a victory during its home leg.
The disappointing run means the team has a gargantuan task ahead if it is to remain in contention for a playoff spot.
In an Instagram post, Bhaskaran said he had decided to step down because the team “did not get the results it had desired.”
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- Had to take responsibility, says Bhaskaran -
When asked if it was a sudden decision to resign, Bhaskaran said: “I had been talking about it to the team management for some time now. Initially, they asked me to stay and said it will take time to get a suitable replacement. On Thursday (Sep. 5), I made the final decision to resign and announced it in the team meeting (involving the management and players),” he said.
“We had the desired result in the first two matches or so. Then, though our game has been good, we’ve been unable to produce the result - win (matches), that is,” he added.
Bhaskaran added that the team's main flaw was that it wasn't able to perform in the finishing stages. “Most of the games are decided in the end. The decision making, then, has been poor. It’s up to the players on the mat.
“We’ve discussed it (decision making), tried a few tactical changes, but nothing seems to work out. I’m honestly at a loss. This team has experienced, star players. This team is good enough to win the league,” he said.
He went on to say that he will continue coaching in the league from the next season. “I wholeheartedly thank the Tamil Thalaivas management for their unflinching support. I feel sorry that we’ve been letting the fans down,” he added.
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