The NorthEast United interim head coach also revealed that he feels the Highlanders have been unlucky this season.
NorthEast United face Hyderabad FC in their penultimate league game at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium on Thursday evening. With both teams occupying the bottom two slots in the standings, the game would be only of academic interest. Ahead of the game, NorthEast United’s interim head coach Khalid Jamil interacted with the media at the pre-match press conference.
Khalid Jamil was quizzed on his approach against the Nizams on Thursday, “We are not thinking much about the opponents. Tomorrow is the second last home game of our season, so we would definitely be going for three points. We have to look at our opponents and then accordingly adapt during the match.”
The Highlanders would be missing the services of Wayne Vaz, Rakesh Pradhan, Redeem Tlang and Captain Jose Leudo against Hyderabad due to suspension. Speaking about the absentees, Khalid Jamil said, “The suspensions are something which are beyond our control. They won’t play this game, but will be available for selection against Chennaiyin.”
Khalid Jamil also revealed that he believes the Highlanders have been unlucky in the way the season panned out for them. “A lot of issues can be attributed, but I feel we were quite unlucky because we had a whole lot of injuries and also due to change of personnel during the middle of the season.”
The Highlanders recently added 19-year-old Assamese player Dipu Mirdha to their roster, who previously played in the local league. On being quizzed about his move to the ISL, the youngster said, “Coach is the one who played a big role in me coming to this club. I was only playing in the Guwahati League and he only took me up.”
“The experience so far has been great. Never in my life have I taken part in training of this level,” he went on to say.
Wayne Vaz, Redeem Tlang, Rakesh Pradhan and Jose Leudo will all be missing against Hyderabad. Provat Lakra and Nikhil Kadam are out through injuries.
The teams have met only once in their history, when the Highlanders won by a solitary goal at Hyderabad.
Subhasish, Komorski, Heerings, Dorjee, Reagan, Lalengmawia, Milan, Ninthoi, Gallego, Keogh, Chaves.
The match will be broadcast live from 7:30 PM on the Star Sports Network, Hotstar and Jio TV on Thursday.