The Spanish tactician lauded the performances of his players, mentioning how they stuck to his plans.

It was a happy start to the season for NorthEast United and Gerard Nus after they defeated one of the strong contenders for the Indian Super League in Mumbai City FC. The Highlanders rode out a 1-0 victory against 10-man Mumbai City after Kwesi Appiah converted from the spot. Mumbai City were down to ten after Ahmed Jahouh was sent off for a tackle on Khassa Camara just before the half-time whistle.

Speaking to the media after his side’s victory, NorthEast United head coach Gerard Nus expressed his happiness with his team’s performance, “We did a competitive game. We knew what we were expecting from a brilliant side like Mumbai City. We followed the plan, the players did a fantastic job. I am so pleased with all of them, even the players that didn’t have much time in the game or even the ones that didn’t have a single minute, they were pushing the team from the bench. This is just the start of what I believe as a serious season for NorthEast United. Obviously, I am happy, but we need to keep improving at the same time.”

Mumbai City midfielder Jahouh was sent off just before half-time. Gerard Nus spoke about its impact on the game and how penalties and sending offs are always crucial in a game. He opined, “Obviously, a penalty, sent off always are moments of the game. In any single football game that can make the things go in one favour or another, but in the end there are more moments. If you just relax they will punish you, so we kept that mentality. We were switched on all the time and we were really strong.”

WATCH: Gerard Nus’ post-match reaction

The Spanish coach defended his decision to not start Federico Gallego and mentioned that bringing him off the bench did help the team win the three points. “I think the rules only can play eleven players and we have more than eleven players, so at the end as a coach you have to decide for the eleven starters that you think can provide the best in that moment. But, for me it’s just not important if one player starts or not, for me what really matters is when everybody comes in they have to give 100%. So, I am very pleased with him and without him this three points won’t be right now in our pocket,” said Gerard Nus.

NorthEast United face Kerala Blasters in their next game and the Highlanders’ boss is wary of the quality of their next opposition. He pointed out the vast gap between them and the Blasters in terms of financial backing and more. “In the coming game, Kerala Blasters will be even tougher than this one. I think if you know the objectives that they have, in terms of many ways we are in a different position, they got much bigger salary and so on.”

“We know our identity, we try to do as best as we can, but no way we are favorites at all. I know I saw the game last night, definitely they have huge good principles of play. They are going to become stronger and they are going to be sure on top of the ladder. I am just concerned how we can deal with the coming game, but I know they are going to be so tough,” Gerard Nus concluded.

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