The Portuguese manager said his team must get back to winning ways…

Ahead of the crucial match against Mumbai City FC on Saturday, NorthEast United head coach Nelo Vingada met the scribes at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium on Friday.

After losing two back to back games against Chennaiyin FC and Atletico de Kolkata by narrow margins, this match is pivotal for the Highlanders to stay on track towards the pay-offs. “It’s like a final for us. We lost good games against Chennaiyin and Kolkata, we have to win and take full points out of this match,” Vingada said.

After being at the summit of the points table for almost 20 days, NEUFC are now 5th with 10 points, which means a win is vital for them to get back to the top four. Adding the long injury list which features Romaric, Nicolas Velez, Mailson Alves and Seityasen Singh is keeper Subrata Paul. The injury to Subrata means Vingada will have to sacrifice a foreign player to start with Welington Lima between the posts.“NorthEast have enough bench strength, I have multiple choices to choose from Indian players like Jerry, Zuala, Fanai, who are quite young and talented to play upfront, NorthEast will field its best eleven tomorrow,” Vingada responded when asked about the injuries to his squad.

Vingada went to watch the game between Kolkata and Mumbai in Kolkata last month. On being asked whether Mumbai is all about Forlan, he said no player is above the team. “Forlan or any one is not above the team. It’s true that they are great players but football is a team game. We lost the game against Mumbai off a penalty which was a good decision, otherwise we played well,” Vingada said.

Initially the Portuguese tactician had bemoaned the short turnover between games. However, in the past few weeks the team’s games have been well spaced out. Commenting on the subject he explained. “Look, I am not giving excuses about rest timings in between the games for winning or losing. But yes, enough recovery time is important for a team to perform. We had enough time before the Chennai and Kolkata games, but we lost. We played well, we fight but we lost,” he concluded.

Photo © ISL Media