The Highlanders’ head coach revealed that they were not thinking about the playoffs during the game.
NorthEast United climbed into the top four in the league table after a 3-1 win against Odisha FC. A brace from Luis Machado and Deshorn Brown’s fourth goal of the season, saw the Highlanders take a three-goal lead within 25 minutes. Brad Inman managed to get one back for the Juggernauts just before half-time and NorthEast defender Gurjinder Kumar was sent off after receiving a second yellow in the 85th minute. But, the 10-men Highlanders were able to hold on to take home a crucial three points. NorthEast United manager Khalid Jamil spoke to the media after the match.
The Highlanders’ boss believed his team deserved to win. “The boys worked very hard so we deserve to get the three points.”
On being asked if Odisha made it too easy for the Highlanders in the first 30 minutes, Khalid Jamil said, “I don’t think it was too easy. It was a very difficult game. For us, it is very important to finish the game. From first to 90 minutes, we must keep our concentration high.”
Not thinking about goal-difference
With the race for the top four heating up, goal-difference could play a vital role in who qualifies for the playoffs. On being asked if this was a very good opportunity to improve his team’s goal-difference, the 43-year-old stated, “Throughout the game, we were thinking just to win the game.
“Just fight for all the ball we get. Just to get the three points, this is the most important thing.”
On Odisha FC
Khalid Jamil had positive things to say about his opponents for the night. “They are a good team. They have good players. They worked very hard. We also worked very hard and scored three goals, that’s why we got the points,” he said.
Tough fixtures ahead
The former Mohun Bagan and Aizawl FC manager emphasized that all the remaining fixtures are tough.
“All the remaining matches, they are tough matches, especially, next game which is very tough. It will not be easy. So, we will have to work hard to get what we want,” he signed off.