The Highlanders manager believes his team will make it to the playoffs…
After a convincing win against Delhi Dynamos, NorthEast United head coach Nelo Vingada met the press in a jubilant mood. On seeing only a few scribes after the match he said, “So, these are the people that think, we can win, thanks for coming. After yesterdays match (ATK vs. KB), we knew that the result of today’s match, whether it is a win or a loss is the same for us. We have to win against Kerala. We didn’t come inside the game in the first 30 minutes, after that we played with more intensity, second half was much better. If it was a draw, I am not concerned about that, but I am really happy about the way we played, the temperament we showed in the field was the positive from this game. If we play like this against Delhi, the strongest team of the league, I am definitely happy, because my career depends upon such games. Winning is a big moral and we will now focus on the next game against Kerala.”
In today’s match NorthEast United FC’s prized asset Nicolas Velez was compelled to come out from the field due to injury in the first 10 minutes of the game. When Vingada was asked about the situation of the injury he said, “I think it cannot be a hard injury because I think if we insisted him to play he could have continued and I would have done that if today was the last game. But I want to preserve him for the next game so I decided to substitute him. I hope he will be fit enough to play for the next game. We will see it tomorrow.”
On being quizzed, why his team fails to capitalize on the flying start they have in the season and loss 4 games in a row, apart from the injuries to some key players what are the factors he thinks for this havoc. He replied like, “That four games we lost, I think to be honest not for the reason that our opponents were better than us. Against Chennai you can remember, we played very well but a good shot from them made the difference at the end. Against Kolkata I think we dominated the game for almost 70 minutes and a bad 30 minutes and they took the game away from us. Like against Mumbai also I can’t say that it was the mistake of the goalkeeper, in football these things are happen. We played the league very well, we fight but, it is our luck that we can’t make it out in our favour.”
When asked for any special message for the Highlanders fans in Guwahati after the last home game, Vingada refused to accept it as the last home game. “No, it’s not the last home game; we will be back in playoffs to play here. I think we are back, we are still alive. We should have qualified for the playoffs already, but a few results against us made this situation. Specially the away game against Goa, I still cannot digest the result of that game. It’s still here (pointing towards his throat). So, for the fans I can say that, from today, NorthEast is a different team, keep faith on us and thanks to them who are still with us. Our team is a family and fans are also members of this family. It’s great to be a part of this family; I will keep this memory of being with NorthEast forever,” he concluded.
Photo © ISL Media
Report by Himangshu Rajkhowa- Khel Now Correspondent from Guwahati.