ISL 2016: There will be an extra challenge on us, when we start against Mumbai, says Nelo Vingada
NorthEast United are set to host Mumbai City FC in a nerve-wracking battle at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati tomorrow. Both the teams had previously occupied pole positions in the league and both have a chance to be there again, provided they clinch the three points.
After two back to back setbacks, NorthEast coach Nelo Vingada would hope for a comeback as he sounded pretty content about his squad. “I cannot regret the last two games. We played in our style and respected our opponents. We have not been lucky. If we had some more points than tomorrow the game we will face would have had a different context,” said the coach.
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In their last match, Mumbai bettered NorthEast by a solitary goal which came in the form of a penalty by Diego Forlan. But things have changed quite a bit since then and the home team coach understands the importance of tomorrow's clash. “I have a certain feeling that tomorrow's match will be something more, it will be a crucial match. There will be an extra challenge that we start the second round of matches,” said Vingada.
No problem with playing the youngsters, says Nelo
The Portuguese coach, however, has issues to deal with as the home team are most likely to miss their star goalkeeper Subrata Pal. With Rehenesh still injured, it means that NorthEast will have to start with one less foreigner in the midfield. Coach Nelo, however, played down his concerns as he said, “This is a part of the game and I will sleep well on it because the Indian players are good. If we need to play the youngsters then we will, I have no problem.”
Further, on being asked about his team’s lackluster performance in the second half of every game, he replied, “It's difficult to control the games as we don't play alone. Kolkata played the first 25 minutes in our half and they scored after that we went to counter attack and even then we conceded. If you tell me, I would like to control the game and as soon as possible, score to make our players relaxed.”
NorthEast will be tough, according to Guimaraes
On the other hand, opposition coach Alexandre Guimaraes isn’t taking NorthEast any lightly. “They are also there in the same situation like us. They were in the top four, they've had injuries like us. We know they are very tough and we need to get the game to our control,” said the coach.
On being enquired about the lineup he is preparing against NorthEast, the coach said, “I make three possible lineups every day and then I have to confirm with the doctor if they can play or not.”
He, however, looked quite confident that his team would make it to the semifinals. “We hope to. From our first game, we have been in the top four til now. We will try very hard to keep that position. The teams are now starting to play with a faster tempo and are fighting to make it. We have to continue to do the same,” said Alexandre.