NorthEast United FC's winless run in the 2020-21 season of Indian Super League (ISL) extended to six matches as they succumbed to a 2-4 defeat to Hyderabad FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco. The Highlanders' last win came in a 2-0 victory against SC East Bengal last month.
Hyderabad FC were two goals up in the first half before Federico Gallego pulled one back through a penalty. Benjamin Lambot equalized just before the half-time whistle to restore parity for NorthEast United FC.
The Highlanders' coach Gerard Nus was pleased with his side's efforts in the first half. However, he rued the profligacy in front of the goal. Speaking to the media after the match, he said:
"We were great in the first half. The desire to come back and the timing (of the goal) was also excellent. I think we create a lot. But, we are missing determination and we have to score more. It's simple as that. We created again and again but gave away two goals cheaply."
Luis Machado was having a great outing for NorthEast United FC. For instance, in the 15th minute, his long-range effort almost curled into the goal. But despite being an influential player, Gerard Nus took him off in the 68th minute.
"It wasn't a part of being defensive. It was because the rules say we can play only with five foreigners. And, he got a yellow card. Mashoor (Shereef) got a yellow card. And, then we were bringing a winger in Charra (Rochharzela) and also (Dylan) Fox, so he can provide attacking options in set-pieces. It was done because the two players were on yellow cards and we trust 100% of the players that came in," Nus said.
NorthEast United FC coach Gerard Nus believes there is enough time to change their fortunes
NorthEast United FC have been constantly chopping and changing their starting line-up. Against Hyderabad FC, Gerard Nus made five changes as Gurmeet Singh, Provat Lakra, Dylan Fox, Lalengmawia, and Rochharzela made way for Subhasish Roy Chowdhury, Gurjinder Kumar, Mashoor Shereef, Lalrempuia Fanai, and Luis Machado.
"There are many reasons why you choose one (starting) eleven and another. Sometimes, it may be injuries, cards, or things that we know about the opponents like how they create chances. We put the best team in the moment and also the substitutes. I think if you don't get the results that you want with the plan, it does not mean the plan is not right. There are a lot of factors," he added.
Despite NorthEast United FC's lackluster recent form, Gerard Nus believes that they have enough time on their hand to turn things around.
"We played ten games and play ten games (ahead). So, there are a lot of games and opportunities for us to come back stronger. At the end of the day, we are the only team that won against the best team in the league, which in my opinion is Mumbai City FC. But, that wasn't the only game (where we performed well). I think against Chennaiyin FC, we deserved more. Against Odisha FC, we created so many chances, 18 attempts which is the record so far. But, we don't score. And, we have to defend well enough. That punishes us more," Nus signed off.
NorthEast United FC next face Bengaluru FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Tuesday.Published 09 Jan 2021, 09:39 IST