The Stallions have flattered to deceive all too often this season and are yet to be assured of a playoffs place despite boasting one of the best teams on paper.
NorthEast United FC gear up to welcome FC Pune City at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 on Wednesday. The Highlanders played an entertaining 2 – 2 draw against FC Goa in their last match, twice coming back from behind, and are unbeaten against the Stallions at home till date. They would want to continue in the same vein and bag three points against a team that is coming off the back of a home setback against Kerala Blasters FC.
Addressing the media during the pre-match press conference was NorthEast’s head coach Avram Grant, and he began by describing his team’s mentality going into the fixture “For us every game is important, and we have played the last three games against the top four,” he inferred. “And this is also a difficult game. But our aim is to be difficult for the other team. Our last game was good. We came back twice from being a goal down. So, the players showed good mentality and we want to continue like this.”
The Israeli also praised the Indian players his team boasted of. “There is a lot of Indian talent in my team,” Grant stated. “Pity we started showing good form so late, but we have improved a lot. My Indian players have character, but more than this they want to improve themselves and are working very hard. They will soon be better.”
The 63-year-old also talked about the job at hand, which was getting a result against a Pune side that is doing well in the league. “We need to do our job on the pitch,” he remarked. “It’s not easy because we are far behind, but we first need to do our job. We need to continue to play the football that we played in the last games, and also to win games. Then what will happen will happen. We want to win the next game.”
Meanwhile, FC Pune City assistant coach Vladica Grujic was wary of the threat that the home team posed. “In the last match, NorthEast played against one of the best teams in the league and they drew,” The Serbian said. “They may be at the bottom of the table, but we know they are very strong. I expect a very difficult opponent tomorrow.”