Jamil speaks of NorthEast’s fighting spirit following draw
NorthEast United FC rescued a last-gasp point against Chennaiyin FC in Match 98 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Thursday. Lallianzuala Chhangte gave Chennaiyin an early lead before goals from Imran Khan and Deshorn Brown put NorthEast in front at the halftime interval. The Marina Machans reestablished their lead through a Manuel Lanzarote penalty and Chhangte’s second goal of the match but a late injury-time spotkick by Luis Machado meant that the teams had to share the spoils.
Speaking to the media at the post-match press conference, NorthEast interim head coach Khalid Jamil rued his side’s lack of concentration after the break but praised their fighting spirit. “Yes, you can say that the lack of concentration [led to them scoring twice in quick succession after the break] but we came back into the game, which is a good point… I don’t have any doubt [about the team’s fighting spirit]. All the boys work very hard and that’s a good plus point,” he said.
He also gave the Marina Machans their due for taking part in an entertaining contest. “Chennaiyin played better but we tried and it was our plan to play defensively then to go for the counters. In the second half, we wanted to contain them and then put Sylla on after five minutes but sometimes [things don’t go according to plan like they conceded twice],” Jamil said.
Looking ahead to their next match against SC East Bengal, Jamil wants his team to be at their best and hopes to have his talismanic playmaker Federico Gallego back for the game after the Uruguayan missed the clash against Chennaiyin. “Yes, we definitely missed Gallego. We will try to get him back for the next match which will be best for us …For our remaining games, we are thinking about the next game against SC East Bengal, they are a good side. We have to do our best and everything will be fine,” he said.
Watch Khalid Jamil's Post-Match Press conference here:
Meanwhile, Chennaiyin head coach Csaba Laszlo described the draw against NorthEast as painful. “I think we gave three gifts to the opponent. They were easy goals that we conceded. It’s painful but I am also proud of my players, how we managed the game and how we played football. The last mistake with the penalty was also a misunderstanding between Enes [Sipovic] and Vishal [Kaith] but we have to accept this and look at the last game. This is the second game [in a row] that we are losing three points [in the end] which is painful,” he said.
While discussing his halftime team talk, Laszlo said: “I told them what they need to do better tactically, and we followed that. It’s the reason I think the team was alive and wanted to win. We want to show that we aren’t just a team that gives up, you know. I think in this case we need to congratulate the boys on how they came out [in the second half] and understood what they had to do. I think if we were a bit more confident, we could have scored more goals but anyway we have a game to go and in the last game, I want to see the same team with the same pride on the pitch.”
Watch Csaba Laszlo's Post-Match Press conference here: