The sack race in Indian football continues with the Portuguese becoming the third manager to lose his job this week.

NorthEast United FC have sacked head coach Joao Carlos Pires De Deus reports suggest. The team management made the decision following the Highlanders’ pathetic run of form in the ongoing season of the Indian Super  League (ISL).

Since the inception of the league in 2014 NEUFC have never managed to qualify for the playoffs. With a view to turning around the fortunes of the club, the John Abraham-owned franchise had appointed the Portuguese tactician to take over the reigns of the club in July last year replacing countryman Nelo Vingada.

As things stand, the club is languishing in 9th position with only four points from seven games. The passionate fans of the club have endured a difficult time in the stands as the team is yet to register a home win this season. As a matter of fact, they are yet to score a goal at home this season.

It is fair to say that the fans were skeptical about De Deus’ decision-making, team selection and even substitutions in the last couple of matches and the sacking should not come as a surprise to most of them.

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Seven matches into the league, NEUFC have scored only twice and conceded 12 times, which has raised eyebrows questioning de Deus’ capabilities; the 5-0 hammering at Pune being the most recent of a series of debacles.

An overweening de Deus had earlier claimed that his side will boast the top goalscorer in this edition of the ISL. “I’m not worried at all that we did not score. I know that at the end of the league, we will have the top goal scorer in the league. I’m not worried at all,” he said.

Prevously, Joao De Deus had unsuccessful stints with the Cape Verde National team. He was also sacked by Spanish 2nd division club AD Ceuta and Portuguese top flight club Gil Vincente FC due to the teams’ poor run of form under his managerial capacity.

It must also be pointed out that De Deus’ assistant coach Joao Pinho has also been reportedly relieved of his duties and goalkeeping coach Joseph Sidy is expected to take temporary charge of the team while the management is on the lookout for a new head coach.

If rumours are to be believed, NEUFC might be bringing in either of Cesar Farias or Nelo Vingada, both of whom have managed the Highlanders in previous seasons. NorthEast United FC play high-flying FC Goa at home on Saturday.