Juan Mascia: The competition here is great

NorthEast United FC will look to solidify their position in the top four when they face off against Chennaiyin FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday. Currently fourth in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2018-19 table with 20 points from 12 matches, a win against Chennaiyin will do the Highlanders a world of good as they prepare for a tough top four race.

Ahead of NorthEast's first encounter after the winter break, indiansuperleague.com caught up with Highlanders' striker Juan Mascia for an exclusive chat. Here are the excerpts.

Thoughts on the Hero ISL experience so far.

Well, I've been here for almost five or six months and my experience so far has been very good. I am enjoying here. The football is good and I try to do my best to focus on my team and try to play well. Our first aim, of course, is to qualify for the semi-finals. I feel it has been very good so far.

How competitive is the Hero ISL?

The competition is very tough. I think so. Every team has very good players and good foreigners also. Every match is very tough. You have to fight to win. The competition here is great.

How is the mood in the camp after the winter break?

The holiday was good. It was nice to see our families because we stay so far. I had to fly for 40 hours, it’s unbelievable but it’s true. Now we are getting together and we are training again. For me, it’s easy because we know each other, we know the team and of course, we have to continue doing what we were doing before so we are very focused for the rest of the season.

What advice will you give your teammates for the match against Chennaiyin FC?

Well, that’s the job for the coach and not me. But they have a very good team. Chennaiyin haven’t had much luck in the past matches but they are dangerous.

How many more points can guarantee a top-four finish for the team?

I don’t know exactly, but they told me that last season the cut-off was 30 points or so. But we don’t have to be focused on that. We have to go match by match doing our best and trying to win so at the end of the season, we hope we can make it.

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