The assistant coach shared his thoughts on Hyderabad FC, availability of players and much more.

With hope to script another fight back, NorthEast United will take to the field against Hyderabad FC on Monday. The Highlanders were on cloud nine after securing their first win of the season against FC Goa last weekend, but their happiness was short-lived, as Odisha FC handed them their third defeat of the campaign.

The side from Guwahati currently sit in ninth spot, with four points in five games. The Nizams on the other hand, are enjoying a great run of form. They’re undefeated in the last three matches and come into this game on the back of a victory. It’s going to be a tough test for Khalid Jamil’s men come Monday.

Ahead of the match, NorthEast United’s assistant coach Alison Kharsyntiew and midfielder Imran Khan spoke to the media about their thoughts going into this fixture:

Goalscoring woes

The Highlanders looked the better side for the majority of the game against Odisha. They created chances and dominated the game, but a series of missed opportunities came back to haunt them. Alison said that they’re trying to improve in training and is sure that the players will fight back.

“In the last game, we played very well in the first half. The boys played with so much confidence and were so flexible in attack. But, the only thing is we were not clinical in the final third. We’ve to work in training and try to implement it in the match. I’m sure the players will bounce back in the next game,” said Alison Kharsyntiew.

Thoughts on Hyderabad FC

The Nizams are surely one of the teams to beat this season. They’re getting results and are playing attractive football. Hyderabad FC are a team that love to keep the ball and play free-flowing attacking football. The former Shillong Lajong coach is well aware of how good Hyderabad are and the danger they possess.

“Hyderabad FC are a very well-organized team and are also very flexible in attack. They’ve good foreign and Indian players who are very talented. Tomorrow we’ve to be very disciplined with our tactical approach. We need to give our best effort and be more determined and courageous for the three points.” the assistant coach opined.

Clean-sheets 

The problems don’t just lie in the attack third, but at the back too. NorthEast United have conceded eight goals and have kept a clean-sheet in just one of five matches this season. 

“The main thing is that we’ve to be very disciplined and follow the principles defensively. If we do so, we will concede fewer goals. Apart from that, our level of concentration should be good. We need to focus from the first till the last minute,” Alison Kharsyntiew answered.

Team News

Subhasish Roy Chowdhury was unavailable for selection in the last game due to an injury. Sharing an update on the availability of players, Alison Kharsyntiew said, “Subhasish is fine now and he has started training. We played our last game on the 10th (of December) and again we play tomorrow (13th December).

“So, there’s less recovery time for players, especially for the ones who’ve played many games. So, yes, there are some players, who have sore muscles, but we’ll see who’s fresh and fit for selection tomorrow.” 

Imran Khan’s comments

Thoughts on Hyderabad FC

The Nizams sent a statement of intent after they defeated reigning ISL champions Mumbai City. They’ve been in good form ever since and have picked up a handful of points. Imran described Hyderabad FC as a tough opponent, but also said that his team are confident and prepared for this game.

“Hyderabad FC is a very tough and a really good side. We’re prepared for them and we’re really confident to get the three points,” Imran replied.

Update on fitness

Before the season started, Imran sustained an injury and was unavailable for the first three matches. He then returned to the side and has made two appearances off the bench.

“Firstly, I want to thank the management, coach and medical staff as they worked hard for me. Now, I’m really fit and I can play 90 minutes and that’s good for me,” he asserted.

Mood in camp

The Highlanders are experiencing a mixed run of form with frequent ups and downs. It’s a tough moment for the players and the club as a whole. They played good football in their last game, but Odisha FC left it late and handed them yet another defeat. Imran spoke about the importance of sticking together during such tough times.

He said, “Luck was not in our favour in the last game. We got a lot of chances, but we couldn’t convert. We’ve to support each other and think for the next game. We’ve to prepare for it and we’re looking forward to it,” Imran signed off.

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