ISL 2016: Nelo Vingada asks NorthEast fans to rally behind their team in tough times
Despite setting the pace in the initial stages of the season, the Highlanders drew their last match away to Atletico de Kolkata and have lost their last three home games to Chennaiyin FC, ATK and Mumbai City FC respectively. That is why the onus is on them to seize back the initiative by beating Antonio Habas’ FC Pune City today.
Ahead of the game at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Guwahati, Vingada sounded weary. “So, tomorrow is going to be a difficult game and the most important one as it is a crucial game. We need to get three points for our motivation,” he said.
Rues bad luck
By his own admission, his team were hard done by in the last few matches. “In the last two games (Atletico de Kolkata and FC Goa) we lost five points but according to our performances we should have got six. Our performances are improving since the last game here against Mumbai City FC,” remarked the 63-year-old.
The former Jordan coach’s analysis is somewhat true as well because the Highlanders lost their game against a 10-man FC Goa team despite being a goal up for most of the game. Against Kolkata, they conceded again in the 89th minute, in spite of bossing the midfield for most parts of the match.
“In Kolkata, it is a very good team and we controlled them but unfortunately we lost the game in the last minute and it was like a punch in our face. We are still alive and fighting,'' he expressed.
Request to the fans
However, Vingada was still positive about his side’s chances. He lauded his opponents, who despite making a slow start have now garnered 15 points. ''Pune is something special because they have 15 points and they started slowly. Our team needs to be in the fight.”
“It is my special request to the people of Guwahati to come and support The Highlanders and inspire the players to get three points,'' he added. ''Tomorrow will be a different proposition. We have scored goals in more difficult situations than we have missed,” Vingada concluded.
Vingada also confirmed that while Mailson Alves and Subrata Paul were fit for the match against Pune, their defensive mainstay Gustavo Lazzaretti will be out of action due to a ligament injury.