NorthEast United FC head coach Vincenzo Annese was extremely delighted after his side finally registered a victory in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23. The Highlanders recorded their first points of the season after winning 1-0 against a strong opposition in ATK Mohun Bagan at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday.

Wilmar Jordan’s goal separated the sides on a night where NEUFC also ended up with a clean sheet.

The 38-year-old was quite emotional and praised everyone at the club to appreciate the efforts to get the first points of the season when he spoke in the official post-match press conference.

“I am a winner and I want my players to be winners, step by step we will improve," he said after the game.

“We will need to improve in the defensive phase and attacking transitions, and step by step, we will do better and better,” stated an emotional Annese.

The gaffer suggested that he knew the opponent well having already beaten them in the AFC Cup with Gokulam Kerala.

“I was afraid about the opponent changing their approach coming into the second half, but I knew they would consider it while in the attacking transitions, and they created a lot of space. We had to be more crucial in attack, but I believed in the team and myself the whole time,” added the head coach, who was again pleased by the style his team brought into play in the game.

The Italian highlighted how the pressing of the team was superb, especially from Jordan (the goal scorer) and that helped them in the attacking transitions when the opponent left space and helped the home team create opportunities to score.

He never lost faith in the team and himself but added that it was time to think about the next game against Hyderabad FC who he has never faced before. The head coach terms this game as an exciting opportunity after a much needed and important victory.

“When you work hard and are serious about the job, everybody believes and follows your instructions, and we need to thank the staff as well for keeping the players injury free as it is important and gives us a platform for the future,” he added.

After a series of defeats in the league, 10 to be exact, Annese did not forget to appreciate the efforts put in by his staff who made sure that the players stay fit to set a platform for the second half of the season. He was also glad to see the belief everyone has in him for the hard work and efforts he brings to the table, which are one of the many reasons he got all three points in Game 11 of the latest Hero ISL season.

“I like the market and I like that it is opening soon, but I am okay to continue with these players," he said.

“For me it does not matter if we play at home or away and I hope the boys come good for the next game, also hope that the supporters believe in these players but I need to take rest and think about Hyderabad FC and we have our strategies planned and want to go there to enjoy the game” concluded a happy Vincenzo Annese.

The Highlanders travel to Hyderabad FC in their next match and would hope to build on their first win of the season.