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Manson keeps eyes on silverware amidst daunting title defense

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Reigning United Football League (UFL) champions Global FC find themselves in a difficult position to retain their seat on top of everyone else in the league this season. The People’s Club are currently in third, seven points adrift of cruising Ceres-La Salle FC with only six games left on the calendar. While Head Coach Leigh Manson is puzzled by the squad’s situation in the league, he thinks that they should not end the season without something to take home.

Following a shock draw against a lower-ranked Pachanga-Diliman team last week, the man at the helm for Global admitted that their opponents deserved much more than just a point. “First half, I thought we just looked like we thought were going to win the game…We didn’t really show enough desire or composure to get a goal back,” he lamented. Global fell behind early in the match after Jinggoy Valmayor netted for Pachanga-Diliman. It looked like an upset was on the cards but Jason De Jong came to the rescue for Manson’s platoon to salvage a stalemate. Manson expounded that the lackadaisical showing of his team early in the match prompted him to reshuffle the deck, which somehow paid off.

Yet, Global were only able to muster a performance that merits a draw. In the bigger picture, that does not go down well with everyone in the club, especially Manson. The Scot witnessed his team produce 23 shots, seven of which were on the mark. Those numbers were far more than what was achieved by Pachanga-Diliman, who only had five of their nine shots on target. Possession also favored Global but the inability to finish at the attacking third cost them precious points. Opportunities were clearly there for his players but it did not seem enough for them to claim all three points. “I thought we fixed it. Obviously, I’m wrong,” he assessed in reference to his bold claim made about a month and a half ago. At the short term, Manson hopes to address this concern at the soonest possible time.

Looking further ahead, the Global mentor thinks his team still have what it takes to bring home silverware. While he conceded that it is an overwhelming task to overtake Ceres-La Salle in the standings, the possibility of bagging the UFL Cup and the Singapore Cup is not as farfetched as the challenge in the league. Even if they would end up beating Ceres-La Salle, the league leaders still have four more points than them. Everything else lies beyond their control. “It’s a big ask now to expect Ceres to drop as many points,” he uttered. Still wishful to see the Negros team lose ground, Manson brands sealing second place a realistic target at least for now. He knows that all is not lost yet for Global and vows to continue the battle until it is all over. “Until it’s mathematically impossible, we’ll never give up,” Manson promised.

Global will resume with the defense of their title on Sunday against league-leaders Ceres-La Salle.

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