This was the Highlanders’ 11th defeat of this season.
NorthEast United just can’t seem to move out of that bottom place, as top-four placed ATK Mohun Bagan got the better of the struggling team in a resounding fashion. Khalid Jamil and his men had got off to a good start with VP Suhair’s opener, but things went astray in the second half.
The Mariners equalized within five minutes through Joni Kauko and even took the lead thanks to youngster Liston Colaco. Forward Manvir Singh sealed their victory in the 52nd minute, which saw them move to second place on the table. In the other half of the table, NorthEast United stay put in the 11th position.
Here’s what head coach Khalid Jamil said in the post-match press conference:
On his team’s shortcomings
After a good start, things started to go wrong for the team very quickly. “Suhair scored a good goal and we got the lead in the first half.
“But, they (ATK Mohun Bagan) equalized and scored the goals quickly in the second half. Most importantly, the team worked hard. It was our collective mistakes,” conceded Jamil after the defeat.
This has certainly been an abysmal season and one to forget for Jamil and his men. “We are thinking of the next game and the remaining three matches. Finishing the season in good form is the most important,” the NEUFC coach stressed.
Team morale is bound to be at its lowest after a series of poor performances, but the head coach was all praise for his squad. “The players are working really hard and they are listening to all the instructions given to them.
“I don’t have any complaint against anyone, Indian or foreigner. New players in Zakaria (Diallo), Marcelinho and Marco (Sahanek) are also working hard,” an appreciative Khalid Jamil said.
Planning for next season
One would start thinking forward and try to forget the current season, especially the current scenario, but Khalid Jamil is not among them. “I never plan for the next season. I have to focus on the remaining matches and then we will see. We have enough time,” the coach commented.
No excuses for performance
The Highlanders had come into the game with high expectations, but they couldn’t live up to them at the end of the 90 minutes. “We can’t give any excuse, as we had all the players available. As opposed to ATKMB, who had lesser foreign players available.
“We thought our chances of getting the three points would be better. I repeat once again, the players worked really hard and we should not blame any single player,” Jamil concluded.