The loss against Odisha FC was the Highlanders’ eighth in a row.

Days, weeks and months have passed by but nothing has changed for NorthEast United so far. It’s been almost two months since the ISL 2022-23 kicked off, but Marco Balbul’s side have nothing to show for their efforts despite putting up hardworking performances.

The Guwahati based club were handed their eighth defeat of the season by a high flying Odisha FC who continued their good run of form. The home side took the lead midway through the first half before Rochharzela brought the Highlanders back on level terms.

But once again, their happiness was short-lived as Jerry scored past Arindam late in the second half to give his side all three points. Post the match, head coach Marco Balbul addressed the media. Here’s what he said:

What’s gone wrong this season?

When quizzed about what has gone wrong for his side this season, Balbul said that his team put up a poor performance. He even said that they were not efficient enough in attack.

“Odisha didn’t create many chances in the first half, but one mistake and they had a goal. We were back to 1-1 and again one more mistake from the defence. We are not efficient enough in attack. One shot in a game is not enough. Our performance has been really poor. We have just scored four goals in eight games, which is very poor,” he quipped.

How to keep the team motivated?

This season has presented no ray of hope for the Highlanders. It’s only been downhill for them since the season kicked off. Even though the head coach was all praise for his team, he said that improvements are the need of the hour.

“They fight for every duel, battle and try their best. But in football, it’s not enough. You need quality and we need to increase the quality in our team. We need to sign 3-4 players in the January window to improve ourselves.”

He further went on to say that the players put up a good fight, but it’s just not enough.

“I cannot complain about the players, their attitude, motivation, or effort. They competed against a very good Odisha team, but it’s not enough,” he asserted.

What was the team talk after the equaliser?

The Highlanders bounced back to level terms in the second half after Odisha took the lead in the first half. When quizzed about what was the talk like after the equaliser, Marco Balbul said, “When we equalised we wanted to win the game and we made attacking changes. Like I said, our final pass was not very good and unfortunately we conceded a goal. We are suffering from this poor result.”

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