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This is the game our fans have been waiting for since Durand Cup, Juan Pedro Benali after win against East Bengal FC

Published at :February 11, 2024 at 1:10 AM
Modified at :February 11, 2024 at 1:10 AM
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Yash Pratap Singh


Benali was also questioned about his side’s chances of going into the finals.

NorthEast United FC turned up the heat on a cold evening in Guwahati with an extraordinary display against East Bengal FC in front of their home fans. The Highlanders gave a tough time to the Kalinga Super Cup champions and pulled off a much needed win.

New signing and former Socceroos international Tomi Juric scored twice with Nestor Albiach finding the back of the net as well for the Highlanders. Nandha Kumar and Felicio Forbes did score for East Bengal but couldn’t avoid a defeat.

After the match, NorthEast United’s head coach Juan Pedro Benali addressed the media and shared his thoughts.

Thoughts on the game

Benali shared his thoughts on the game and said the game unfolded exactly the way he thought.

“It’s gone exactly how we thought it would go, you know. We stopped East Bengal’s way of playing. We changed the game plan for them and they found it hard. It’s a great team, very good players, and a great coach. I’m very happy. This is the game our fans have been waiting for since the Durand Cup,” he asserted.

Objective moving forward

The Spanish head coach also spoke about his side’s objective moving forward and said that his objective is to prepare and develop the players. 

“Our objective is clear. We want to develop and prepare. If we go to the playoffs, fantastic. If we don’t go, we will still be working and preparing everything for next season. That’s for sure,” He added.

Playoffs

When quizzed about his side’s playoffs chances moving forward, the tactician said that he isn’t thinking about the points table right now and is only focused on the next game against Mohun Bagan.

“I tell you the truth, I don’t think about it. I don’t look at the positions now. Game. Now, from tomorrow we start thinking about the next game. If you look far away and forget today, you just get totally lost. I prefer just to think about the next game. We need to perform now against Mohun Bagan in Kolkata which is not going to be an easy game at all. We’re only focused and thinking about Mohun Bagan,” he quipped.

Tight competition

When asked about if he expected the playoffs race to be so tight, Benali replied and said, “Yes, I was expecting this, but I was not expecting us to drop many points with the stupid things. With some games we could win, some draws we could have. We were talking with the players the other day and putting the points we were supposed to have. A minimum, minimum eight points more. And eight points makes a big difference in this moment. 

He also mentioned that, “But we’re happy because we have 14 players playing for the first time in the ISL, a lot of young players, and our objective is clear, is to prepare everything for the day when Juan Pedro Benali is not here, they can say, this is a structure he left here. That’s the most important thing,” he signed off.

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