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Rota: Adjustment is the key



Ever since Simone Rota came back from an awful collision with Kaya goalkeeper Nick O’Donnell that resulted to broken ribs, last August in the United Football League Cup semifinals, it’s been harder for him to catch up with his teammates in the national football team [Azkals] during trainings as they carry on their journey in the 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers. Despite the challenge, Rota has been present at all trainings as the local tourneys have ended. “I’ve been giving 100% in the training for the national team, I focus [on the national team] more right now,” he explained.

After missing two games with the Azkals, specifically the Uzbekistan and North Korea, Rota needs to exert more effort to fully recover and be as aggressive on the field as before. When asked if he has already recuperated from the injury, he clearly said, “I am somewhat physically ok, I just need to clear my mind and give my best in the game since it’s been a long time.” Although he was back on the pitch during the Bahrain game, his defensive play had not been consistent. It was evident during the game that he struggled, although so did the rest of his teammates as they lost 0-2. He defended cogently, “We try to win every single game [and] we did not give up, we don’t know what will happen in the future.”

With a Phil Younghusband-shaped hole in the team this Thursday, Rota explained that anyone can fill that gap as he believes that coach Thomas Dooley will strategize and pick the best player for the spot. “Obviously everyone has a good quality for the team, Phil is important for us but we have to adjust, adjustment is the key,” he ended with pride.

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