Marko Stankovic emphasizes the importance of home wins

Hyderabad FC take on NorthEast United FC looking for two consecutive home wins in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 at the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium on Wednesday.

The Hero ISL new-comers came from behind to beat Kerala Blasters FC in their previous home match and they will hope to replicate their performance against an unbeaten NorthEast United outfit. Speaking to indiansuperleague.com in an exclusive interview, Hyderabad FC midfielder Marko Stankovic opened up about their first Hero ISL victory as well as the importance of playing at home. Here are excerpts from the interview.

The team’s confidence after their first Hero ISL victory.

The win was massive. To be honest, it couldn't get better. We were 1-0 down but we bounced back. The crowd really helped us in this match. You see what is possible when everybody is sticking together. So, this was a win not just for our club but also for all the supporters. We hope they continue coming to the stadium, especially when we play against NorthEast United FC at home.

Have any of Hyderabad FC's Indian players caught your eye in particular?

Picking out one would be unfair, but at the same moment I would pick a player who has always played - Gurtej Singh. He got injured in the match against Jamshedpur FC, (but) still played the last match against Kerala Blasters FC. Massive respect to him. The way he played, the way he dealt with the injury that he had and all the young lads that came into (the team) in place of the foreign players who have been injured. Really good. That's the future of India. That's how it should be. Luckily, we have a gaffer who trusts the Indian players. You see what's possible when everybody is together (and) when we have a good team spirit. And now we have some problems with the injuries but nothing to complain about. You see, we can also win with three on the pitch.

The importance of making the most of the home fixtures.

It's always like that. If you want to be on top of the table, you must win the home matches and draw the away matches or not lose for example. That's the most important thing. So, winning at home is always the base of being at the top of the table. But for me, it's not about being at the top, it's just watching match-to-match. So, we had a home match, now we have another home match, (and) we want to get another three points. That's the most important thing right now.

What are your expectations against NorthEast United FC who are unbeaten this season?

It's going to be a tough match because NorthEast United are doing a great job right now. They have a decent (head) coach, (Robert Jarni). They don't have just one player who is outstanding, but they have a shape and they have the same idea of football like last year in my opinion. So, it's going to be tough but it's going to be a match where both teams will be on the same level. So, it just depends on who will be better on the day, and I hope it's going to be us.

On dealing with the threat of Asamoah Gyan, who has scored in the last two matches.

He is a big player. He had a huge career, a decent career in the past. But football doesn't live in the past. He scored two goals in the last two matches. It's good for him. I am happy for him. But in this match, we are not focusing on him at all. We have a decent team. NorthEast United have a decent team. There's not just him on the pitch, there are 21 other players. So, it's good that we know his strengths and weaknesses but the (other) NorthEast United players have enough quality to score as well, (and it's) not just him.

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