The manager wants to have more of the ball against Odisha and get back to winning ways…
NorthEast United suffered their first loss in this edition of Indian Super League (ISL) when they went down 1-0 to Jamshedpur FC in their previous match. They had a bad day at the office and manager Gerard Nus wants to make amends when they take on a struggling Odisha FC on Tuesday evening.
But the Spaniard does not want to make the mistake of taking Odisha lightly as he believes that the Juggernauts have enough quality in their ranks to trouble his side.
“I think it will be a good test tomorrow because obviously, after a defeat it’s always a challenge to see how we are going to react. I have no doubt that we are going to react, and fight in every single game. We want to go for victory tomorrow with respect to a side that we know has not got the results they wanted but at the same time, we know how good a side they have. In the last game, they lost 2-1 against Bengaluru which is one of the bigger teams in the competition and they competed well.
“For example, we know that they got good central backs and they are very good at setpieces. So we need to understand that we are playing against a great side. You have seen Diego (Mauricio), how he scored two of the three goals they scored, and Onwu who is a top striker. We know how dangerous they are but we need to pay attention to ourselves first and be ready for the challenge,” stated the coach.
NorthEast United have been solid at the back as they prefer to absorb the pressure and hit on the counter. However, Nus does not think that makes his side defensive as the Highlanders have been creating enough goal scoring opportunities.
“We are not a defensive team, like what I have heard. We are a team who knows how to attack and at the same time, we know how to defend. We need to stick to these things and convert our chances. That was basically what was lacking in the last game.
“The most difficult thing in any football game is scoring goals and that happens to every team. I know that we are creating chances. So I am not worried and I know that the goals will come and tomorrow will be a perfect chance for us to prove it. I think it’s an opportunity for all of us to stick together more than ever. I’m sure that the team is committed. We are going to be an offensive team tomorrow and go for the three points.”
Although they have suffered only one loss till now, they have already dropped 11 points and currently sit fourth on the table with 10 points from seven matches. Nus acknowledged that there is enough room for improvement as his side must convert the draws to wins.
“I see the table right now and I see NorthEast are in the play-off position. That’s something that no one can take away from us and something that we should be proud of, but obviously, we want more. We know that is so challenging. Sometimes you feel that every last game you draw, you deserve to win. The last game, at least we deserved to draw but that’s my feeling. The point is, we are where we are so far and we have to keep doing the good things and obviously learn from our mistakes so that things will get better.”
The former Liverpool academy coach is open to tweaking the style of play against Odisha to have more possession. He wants to get a win and to do that he thinks that having the ball is the means to it.
“I think Odisha had the ball more than ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru if I’m not mistaken. They are a team that try to play out and do it quite well. They build up from the back and try to have a lot of players in the midfield. So obviously, when you have the ball you can do something with it and become dangerous. So we want to have more of the ball as for us, it’s more about controlling the game. When you control the game, you have more chances against the opponent and this is our main priority,” signed off Nus.