Herbert feels that his team should have won

NorthEast United FC head coach Ricki Herbert felt that his side were the better outfit on the night and should have won the match after the Highlanders rallied to hold Chennaiyin FC away to a pulsating 2-2 draw.

Expressing his happiness at the team’s performance at the post-match press conference, the former Kiwi international and national coach said, “My side were the better side on the night and I’m very happy with the way we passed and the way we came back twice." Herbert however added that he was happy with the draw, given the fact that his side lost three points in the earlier away game, but insisted that his team should have won.

Herbert pointed out that both the goals they conceded could have been avoided and he promised his team would remain compact in future games. He also felt that James Keene had an “amazing game” and worked hard for the side and was sure that the English striker would start scoring soon.

The former defender who earned 61 caps for New Zealand and scored seven international goals, also heaped praise on the debutant Seiminlen Doungel. “I’m happy that we gave him a chance and he has acquitted himself well by scoring his first goal of the tournament. He certainly played well," Herbert said of the 20-year-old Manipuri player.

Asked whether his side got away with a penalty claim made by the home team, Herbert countered, “No, not at all. These kinds of situations arise all the time. We had a similar claim in an earlier game with the same referee and that stone cold penalty wasn't given. It cost us three points in that game. So you get some and you some you don't, that's football.”

Acknowledging the impact made by the player who has taken the ISL by storm, Herbert had this to say of Elano: “He’s a wonderful player who has great talent, they have a good team and a strong team. (Mikaël) Silvestre has played for Manchester United and the list can go on. But yes, I have got massive respect for the player who has amazing technical ability but I’m extremely disappointed in conceding the goals that he scored today."

On his side’s chances in the ISL, Herbert remarked, “Anything can happen in the league, last night’s result at Atlético de Kolkata puts things in perspective. Anyone can win on their day but I hope to challenge for the playoffs.”

After consecutive games away from home, the coach said he was happy about returning to familiar surroundings. "I am eagerly looking forward to going back and playing in front of the home fans. With home comfort and in familiar surroundings, the team will give off its best,” he concluded.

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