The Spaniard sounded wary of his opponents on Thursday.
After a victory in their first match against Mumbai City FC, NorthEast United are all set to face-off against Kerala Blasters. Ahead of their match, the Highlanders’ head coach Gerard Nus spoke to the media.
The Spaniard was full of praise for their opponents, “I think they are one of the biggest and best squads to show. I see them like a really, really tough team to play against. I have seen the game, the first one they played. They were dangerous in terms of attack, in set-pieces, in organization. They have so many ways to create chances and I see them as a really solid side. So, I believe it’s going to be hard. We are going to fight, we are going to do whatever we can do, but definitely they are the favourites.”
NorthEast United’s next match against Kerala Blasters will also mark their 100th in the Indian Super League. “It’s great for the club that it’s going to be the 100th game in the league, that’s a huge thing. For me, in terms of preparation it’s the same. I mean it is going to be a tough game and we are just going to basically think how we can deal with all the strength that they have got? How we can be strong in all the things that we will be doing? How we are going to manage the game?”
The Spaniard also believes that his team have a lot to improve on, despite their win in the first match. “We did good things, we have to keep doing the good things, but we also need to improve on a lot of things. I think that we need to have more control of the game when we can. It is important for me to see that we have players, that we have many changes, substitutions. Not just the result that we got, but also the way that we compete, we were really committed to do our jobs, everyone. So, definitely something that I want to see again.”
Gerard Nus also believes that both the teams’ previous results won’t have much impact on the game tomorrow. “I think that they know that they have played good football, because they did. I don’t think they deserved to lose to be honest and that’s why I expect that they are going to try to play good football again, they are going to try to create chances. We want to be a team. As I said earlier, we want to be more in control.”
Lastly, the Highlanders’ coach also believes that injuries will be a regular part of this season. “I think all the teams are going to be struggling with injuries, no matter how you do it, how good you try to recover from the games and the training pitch. As far as I know, many teams are struggling to have good surfaces for training and the practices. In the match, they have good conditions, there are no complaints about it. But, in terms of training pitches I have heard from many coaches, they are not as ideal as we would like probably.”
“So, all these things do not help. There are many issues like long time without training properly. Lack of football has probably made everybody more weaker and then when you’re weak, you have more chances to have injuries. But, at the same time, the way the competition is here, you don’t have much time to rest between one game to another. I am sure pretty much everyone will have to face this and it’s going to be a huge task ahead for the coaches to manage it in the best way possible,” concluded Gerard Nus.