The assistant coach spoke ahead of the Highlanders’ crucial game in the race for top four.
Only two places remain to be occupied in the top four and NorthEast United are right in the middle of the fight to secure one of them. Their next assignment in the Indian Super League 2020-21 is against SC East Bengal. The game is a must-win for the Highlanders, if they are to make a strong challenge for the playoffs. Speaking to the media ahead of the important clash, assistant coach Alison Kharsyntiew answered some tough questions and was also joined by midfielder Imran Khan.
Need of the hour
The importance of the upcoming game is immense and the players from NEUFC need to be up for the challenge. Responding to how the team is going to approach it, Alison Kharsyntiew said, “We have to play very well tomorrow – defend and attack well. We’ve to create chances and utilize the chances we get. We need 100% effort from everyone.”
Update on Federico Gallego
The coach also provided an update on the fitness concerns involving their star player Federico Gallego. He was quoted as saying, “The medical team has been working very hard to get him back in action as soon as possible.”
A word on opponents
The tactician was asked to share a few thoughts about SCEB, who have not been in the best of form lately. He answered, “They lost the game 3-1 against ATK Mohun Bagan and this is a game we cannot take easy. We should give our best effort in the 90 minutes and hopefully we get the three points tomorrow.”
“We have to defend well and not give him time on the ball. We’ve to defend as a team,” he further added in reference to stopping Bright Enobakhare.
Pressure of qualifying for the playoffs
When asked about the potential pressure of winning the last two games, that will ensure playoffs qualification for NorthEast United FC, Alison Kharsyntiew responded by saying, “We’ll concentrate on our game tomorrow and then think about the last game against Kerala Blasters. But, tomorrow is very important for us.”
Imran Khan on scoring first-ever goal
Imran Khan scored the first of three goals from the Highlanders against Chennaiyin FC. Speaking in the context of how it felt, the player said, “It’s a great feeling to score a goal and I am really happy. I hope we play really well and I’m looking forward to it (game against SCEB).”
Mood in camp
Imran Khan was also asked to express how he is feeling while representing NEUFC this season. He was grateful and said, “I’m really enjoying it here. Everyday, I am learning and the coach always pushes me in training. I want to work hard to be better.”