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ISL 2017/18: FC Pune City wary of NorthEast United threat

279   //    06 Feb 2018, 23:16 IST

Vladica Grujic
FC Pune City assistant coach Vladica Grujic

FC Pune City play an important game against NorthEast United FC on Wednesday at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati. Pune will be aiming for nothing less than a victory in order to strengthen their position in the top four of the 2017/18 ISL season. On the other hand, Northeast United will have nothing but pride to play for as making the play-offs looks out of their reach at the moment.

FC Pune City’s assistant coach Vladica Grujic, who attended the press conference in place of suspended Coach Ranko Poppovic, stated that it is going to be a very tough game for them as Northeast United are improving day by day. With the change in management for the Highlanders, they have been looking a completely different side.

Grujic said, "League positions don’t matter on the field, we saw what NEUFC did against FC GOA in their last, everyone thought that Goa would win the game, but then NEUFC could have won the game. They are a very different side to what they were before and it will be a very very difficult game for us."

He added, "Northeast have nothing to play for and pressure of being in the playoff is not their so they can play free flowing football, and that is going to help them perform better, they will give a hard time to all the teams which are vying for a play off spot."

Speaking about the Indian players in his squad, Grujic mentioned that it was pleasing to see the likes of Adil Khan, Gurtez, Ashique, Issac step up to the occasion and perform adequately.

On the significance of absorbing tough moments, he affirmed, "It is important for a player to play under pressure, it only under pressure that a players true potential can be seen, if a player doesn’t play under pressure then he can never grow."

Overall in the season thus far, Grujic admitted to being impressed by the striking duo of Lanzarote and Coro of Goa. In terms of team performance, Bengaluru FC have caught his eye with their style of play. As for Indians playing in other teams, he praised Delhi Dynamos midfielder Vinit Rai for his consistent performance. 

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