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ISL 2016: NorthEast United will try to make things difficult for FC Goa, says Coach Nelo Vingada

Amlan Das
713   //    03 Oct 2016, 20:54 IST
NorthEast United
NorthEast United got off to a flying start with a win over the Blasters

NorthEast United host FC Goa in their second home fixture in a span of 72 hours as they look to carry forward their winning momentum.

After a not so great opening match, Coach Nelo Vingada would have had a lot to say to his team as they face, probably the most consistent team of the league. “I always tell my players, the next game is important and the most difficult. The game against Kerala Blasters is gone and we cannot change anything about that,” said the coach.

The Goa side definitely looks stronger on paper, minus the injuries and Nelo is very aware of the threat Zico and co. can pose. But the fact that the game will be played in Guwahati can work in favour of the home side and was rightly pointed out by the coach.

“We have a home advantage and you can say we are in a rhythm considering it is our second game. But FC Goa is fresh as it is their first game of the season. We cannot change that fact and we will try to make the game difficult for them with the support of our fans,” he said.

It must here be pointed out that NorthEast United have  never beaten FC Goa in the short history of the ISL. And professor Nelo is quite aware of it. “I hope there will be no repetition. I believe history doesn't repeat itself. Soon NorthEast United will beat FC Goa,” said the Portuguese when asked to comment on this fact.

He, however, seems to be critiquing the scheduling of the league as just like his first ISL press conference, he once against brought out the issue of the scheduling of the matches. “Normally a team in Portugal or the European leagues has 72 hours as the average benchmark to play the next game. So ideally if the first game started at 7, this game should start at 9 or 9:15 but it cannot be helped now,” he said.

Also read: ISL 2016: Inexperience cost us two points, Marco Materazzi

The coach is very concerned about his players and places the utmost value on recovery phase after a match. “If you talk about player recovery, it differs from player to player. A person like Halicharan Narzary who ran around 11-12 kilometres in the first game will naturally need a bit longer to recuperate but a player who ran less might need less time to be totally fit,” the coach pointed out.

NorthEast United seems to have a bit fitness issues with their squad and if the coach is to be believed there will be won’t be many changes in the game against FC Goa. “Didier Zokora is still not fit to start as he got a brash injury during pre-season and we will bring him back slowly. Fabio Neves' replacement will still need time. So Robert Cullen will not feature. Seityasen is completely okay for the match. There might be fewer changes as the game is tomorrow. If it was today we would need 3-4 surely,” said coach Nelo Vingada.

Lastly, Vingada also spoke about Goa’s Portuguese connection and could not help mentioning his excitement. “It is also a special game for me as a Portuguese national to play against Goa as there is much  Portuguese blood left in Goa and we have historical connections,” he said.

“Also, it is a great moment to play my team against the great Zico. He is one of the greatest players of the game and he had done very good work as a coach around the world,” the coach further said.

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