"My team is like my second family" says NorthEast United coach, Nelo Vingada
NorthEast United started the season exceptionally well, leading the table in the initial phase of things, but have seemingly lost their way now – as was the case over the last two seasons. Having failed to register a win in their last three outings – a run that has included two defeats in the last two – Nelo Vingada has come under a lot of pressure. He hasn’t let it get to him, though –
Tomorrow is a crucial game for us. We started the league very well, even when we lost, we played good football. Only in the last match, our performance was not up to the mark. I regret what happened with Goa, they will be missing some players. Some of our players too cannot play due to injuries and suspension. Tomorrow is a very important game for us and hopefully, we can return to our level. I see Goa as the most difficult team and have a lot of respect for them. Tomorrow hopefully, we will be much better than our last game.
When asked about the home advantage for FC Goa, Vingada was non-plussed and fairly confident that it didn’t make much of a difference -
All teams have lost at home, this means playing at home is not a big advantage. There is not much difference between the teams. As we remember, the last time we played against Goa we scored the first goal and in our last match we conceded a goal, this is quite unusual… So, tomorrow playing home or away will not make a big difference. I know Goa have not yet won at home and they won’t be having some players but the players that will be on the field, they will fight for the prize.
After the last defeat, his players came under heavy criticism, particularly for a horror showing in the second half
I critique myself first. My team is like my second family, if there are problems in the family I will solve it. The position that I’m in, I’m supposed to tell what I’m feeling. The players were feeling the same thing. Delhi are in a good position with 16 points but that is not enough. When we had 10 points from five games, I said the same thing that it is not enough. Anything is possible for all teams including Goa.
He also gave an injury update on his three key players. According to him, Romaric was improving but is still not fit enough to start. He said that Nico Velez was well now (after being subbed off against Chennaiyin. He was also unsure about Subrata Paul’s condition – saying that he was much better but would need to see his condition today before deciding whether to play him.
NorthEast face Goa today in a clash of the bottom-feeders; with both teams needing a win desperately.