Northeast United will play their 18th fixture against Chennaiyin FC at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim. Ahead of the game Coach Alison Kharsyntiew and Player Luis Machado interacted with the Media and here’s what they had to say.
Although Chennaiyin FC are out of the playoffs race but they have showed some quality football through the season. Coach Alison told us about how he has assessed them and he said, “I think we have to be prepared. We should not take it easy. Like the last game, the players have put in a lot of effort. They have shown determination, they have shown character on the pitch. They have done very well. So, I hope tomorrow they will continue with the same spirit and we will try our best to win,
The Marina Machans’ forward line consists of some of the big names in Indian Football. On being asked about how he plans to keep them at bay, Coach Alison said, “We just have to control them, dictate their play and not allow them time on the ball and space to operate,”
Chennaiyin FC have played good football but the results have not gone their way. On being asked about his feeling towards the game tomorrow, the former Shillong Lajong FC manager stated, “Like I said that we have to approach the game very well and not take it very lightly. We have to play with alot of character, alot determination and be more hungry than we did in the last game. I am very confident that our players will play well tomorrow,”
Northeast United have let in late goals that have costed them a few points and On being asked about his opinion on this, he said, “I think this things happen in a game, but we have to be more focused in all the minutes. Throughout the 90 minutes we have to be focused, concentration level should be high. We should try to do best in every minute, in every second of the game till the final whistle,”
If the Highlanders will against Chennaiyin FC they will book a play off berth for themselves but if they don’t, they will hope the results of some other games ho their way. Coach Alison told us about how he sees the current scenario. “I think this is the time when we have to be calm, composed and concentrate on our game and at the same time we in our game we have to show agression, we have to play with intensity and 100 percent effort to win the match,”
The Highlanders maintain a great head-to-head record against Chennaiyin FC. On being asked about if psychologically that will play some role, Coach Alison said, “Every game is different. Tomorrow is a different game, different atmosphere. We will try our best to win tomorrow,”
Northeast United dominated the first half against Odisha and had a 2 goal cushion going into the second half but the team approached the second half in a defensive manner. On being asked about his views on this, the Highlanders’ assistant coach said, “I think we played balanced football. In the first half, we scored the goals. It’s not like we play defensively or we play in an attacking style. Rather, we try to play balanced football. It depends on the situation of the game, the moments of the game.”
Luis Machado and Federico Gallego have played a vital part in uplifting the Highlanders’ this season. Luis Machado told us about his partnership with the Uruguayan lynchpin Federico Gallego. “Ya, everybody knows he’s a very good player. So, now I understand all the movements that Gallego does, so it’s easy for me,” he said.
Luis Machado did not have the best of starts to life in the ISL but he has shown his capabilities coming into the second half of the season and has 6 goals to his name that makes him the Highlanders’ top goalscorer this season. “It’s good to score goals, for the team to win the match. It doesn’t matter who scores, me or another player. The most important thing is to win the match and go to the playoffs. If I score, of course I am very happy, but I am most happy if the team win,” said Machado.
Northeast United parted ways with Gerard Nus midway through the season in what turned out to be blessing in disguise for them as Khalid Jamil has uplifted them. Machado was asked about the change that he felt took place in the dressing room after the departure of Nus and the arrival of Khalid Jamil. “For me it’s the confidence that Khalid (Jamil) gives to all the players. He tells that we can do what we want in the field so we feel free to do what we want and for us, it’s very good. You need to be good tactically it is very important obviously to be free. So, you can do what you want and for us it’s better,”
Luis Machado also shared his thoughts on the league and life in India. “Now it’s difficult because we are in bubble as you know. But, I feel good and I like this kind of football and the league is very good, very quality players and Indian players at first place, so I feel very good,” the winger stated.