The NorthEast United head coach lauded the atmosphere in Chennai.

NorthEast United FC head coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese asserted that his team did not deserve to lose after a 94th minute strike from Sajal Bag enabled Chennaiyin FC to defeat the Highlanders 4-3 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Friday. Wilmar Jordan Gil scored a brace whereas Parthib Gogoi netted once to help the visitors level the scores until the home team substitute turned the tables with his clinical finish towards the fag end of the game.

Annese reflected on the result and the overall steps taken by the team ever since he took over as the head coach back in December.

Second half of the season

NorthEast United rounded off their season with 17 losses in 20 games to their name. They looked set to secure a draw on Friday but a late defensive error spoiled those hopes for them. Anesse’s appointment didn’t bring about the required transformation but the Italian seemed content with the changes observed in their overall style of play since getting onto the job.

“It has been two months and 15 days since I have been with the team and to see the change and preparations game-by-game so far, we have done so well. We have changed and improved a lot in the last two months, be it physically, technically, or tactically,” Anesse said.

He added, “So, we need to believe in the change more and more in order to reach a high level. We need to be competitive and fit for ISL because I don’t like to lose and since I’ve been here we’ve seen a lot of defeats but we are starting to change a lot.”

Message to the fans

Having finished off the campaign, Vincenzo Alberto Annese implored the supporters of the club to take a closer look at their change in playing style since the former Gokulam Kerala boss took over the reins. The mentor is already looking forward to the Super Cup – looking to put up spirited and better performances in the tournament after a disappointing show in the ISL.

“The fans must understand the way we were playing before and how we are playing now. I hope that many fans watched the game today because it doesn’t matter that we lost 4-3, they must be happy and proud of the players. The more we play, the more we improve,” Anesse said.

“We are strong and we are a team now. I hope I can give a good effort for the Super Cup. I hope they keep me first, with me we can improve as the staff, we can improve our playing style and we can really achieve something important for NorthEast United FC,” he further added.

Looking back at close fixtures

This was inarguably one of the better performances that the Highlanders delivered this year. Regardless of the result, the goal-fest was an absolute entertainer as the Chenniayin FC fans provided vociferous support throughout the course of the game. “The atmosphere here in Chennai was amazing, we played so well. We didn’t deserve to lose, we made little mistakes but we offered a lot on the other end as well,” Anesse said.  

He further quipped, “We have lost some close games in the league and such fixtures will make the team better.”

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