Defending champions Chennaiyin FC take on current table toppers NorthEast United in what looks like a very promising encounter at Guwahati tomorrow. The home team which has a perfect record against Chennaiyin would play to consolidate their top spot while Chennaiyin would look for concrete start to their season with their attempt for a second win.
Coach Nelo Vingada is well aware of the opposition and understands that fact that it will be a test of character for his team. “We will have a hard and difficult game because Chennai is a very good team. But our team is also growing up and is showing good organisation. What we did in the past was important, but for tomorrow’s game, we need better spirit, better organisation and stronger determination. We are playing in our stadium, with our support,” he said.
Vingada refuses to pay much attention to the fact that his team has an unbeaten record against Chennaiyin. “I do not believe too much in the tradition, if we win or loss. I am more worried about the level and the quality of game. Tomorrow we are playing against the defending champions and it can be a great motivation for us,” quipped the Portuguese
The Playoff calculation
The primary concern for the NorthEast coach here is to get his team qualified for the playoffs and he spoke in length about the target he has in mind. With 10 points, his team definitely seems to be in a comfortable position, but that doesn’t necessarily put NorthEast at an advantageous position tomorrow.
“Chennai obviously has less points but nobody has enough points to say that they will qualify. Also, no one has just few points and cannot say that that they won’t qualify. So the chance is open for all the teams. But it’s better to have 10 points than five or six,” the coach said.
“Looking at the previous seasons, 19 points was enough for qualification. But there is always a risk. Last season Chennaiyin needed 22 points to qualify while NorthEast United with 20 points did not qualify. So I consider 22 points is maybe enough for us to qualify.” Nelo Vingada further added.
Materazzi regrets the two points against Kolkata
The opposition coach Marco Materazzi ,on the other hand, isn’t particularly concerned about his team’s position, with Chennaiyin winning just one of the three games played, while they lost one.
But the vocal Materazzi was quick to express his displeasure regarding the Kolkata match while he had reservations about how his team played against Delhi.
“The start is more or less the same as last year, what I regret is the 2 points that I left behind at Kolkata. If you see how the game was developing, maybe should have those two points. Against Delhi, I was a little angry with the game as we did not play as we could have played. I just regret the 2 points against Kolkata,” the Italian said.
He, however, is aware of what the home team is capable of and informed that his team is ready to take up the challenge. “We always have the maximum respect for the team that is on the top of the table. NorthEast has changed many players and the coach did a really good job. It’s a well-organized team and they deserve all the 10 points. We know it’s going to be tough and we will put what we have. If we play good, we can beat them,” the Chennaiyin coach added.