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NorthEast, Pune focussed to win in ISL (Preview)

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Guwahati, Nov 21 (IANS) NorthEast United FC coach Nelo Vingada hasn't lost faith in his teams ability to win against FC Pune City in their Indian Super League (ISL) football encounter here on Tuesday despite a six-match run sans victory.

NorthEast have lost four of their last six matches, with only draws against Delhi Dynamos and Atletico de Kolkata the only solace. They are seventh in the standings with only 11 points from 10 matches.

But Vingada is confident they can turn the corner as they come up against Pune City at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium. Pune are fourth wih 15 points from 11 matches.

NorthEast set the pace early in the tournament with two back-to-back home victories against Kerala Blasters and FC Goa but lost their next three home games. They have two more games remaining at home and Vingada has no doubt they can upset calculations and qualify for the semi-finals.

"The most important thing is that NorthEast are still alive. We can play and beat any team. There is no doubt about that and the best thing is that NorthEast are coming back and I am very happy with the performance of the players. I still believe that we have a chance," said Vingada, as per an ISL release.

The eight teams in the tournament are placed so close to each other that a win will take them closer to semis qualification.

"If we can play this way, we can score the goals and you know better than me that last year Chennaiyin were almost out but played well in the last four games. Even Goa can play well and qualify," said Vingada.

NorthEast though will have to tackle an inspired Pune, fresh from beating Delhi Dynamos.

Pune defeated Delhi 4-3 to climb to fourth and coach Antonio Habas believes the victory will help them navigate a tough run of away matches against NorthEast, Kerala Blasters and Atletico de Kolkata.

"We are only thinking about NorthEast right now. We have a huge travel coming up for us and very soon, we will have to focus on recovering. We aren't thinking about the semi-finals, so we will focus on NorthEast and prepare accordingly," said Habas.

Despite striking form after winning two of their last three matches, Habas is taking nothing for granted.

"You saw two games back we were out of contention but now we are playing well again and we are back on track. We need to remain in the top four. We have to maintain balance to achieve a positive result," said Habas.

--IANS

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