Jarni: ATK a dangerous team but we know what to do

NorthEast United FC will square off against ATK at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday in a crunch tie between the East Indian rivals. Still unbeaten in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 so far, the Highlanders will be eager to carry forward their unblemished record when the two sides meet.

At the pre-match press conference, NorthEast head coach Robert Jarni shared his thoughts on the upcoming challenge and said, “ATK are a very dangerous team but we know what we need to do on the pitch against them. We go to every game with the intention of winning. Even against Jamshedpur in the last match, we didn’t play very well in the first-half, but defensively we were very good. In the second-half, we were very attacking, and the final result was 1-1 which is very good for us. When you play away from home, it’s difficult. Thankfully we have a good defence and we have many players who are willing to go one to one and make the difference.”

“The return of (Kai) Heerings is really good for us. He is a very good player in defence and his long passing helps the team. His return is very important for us,” he added, addressing Heerings’ return to the squad after a two-match suspension.

Speaking about his team, the 52-year-old declared, “I have a lot of confidence in my players. we have played against many strong teams like FC Goa and Bengaluru FC, and no one has managed to beat us. We have the potential and we will see what happens. I think both ATK and Jamshedpur are the top two teams in this league. They have balance in both defence and attack. ATK is a tough challenge for us. We are going to give our everything on the pitch to win the game because we need the points.”

The Croatian also gave an update on Federico Gallego’s injury and revealed, “Gallego has a little problem in the foot. He has been working in training. He is a very good player and I hope he is back soon. There is a possibility that he might join the squad in December, but let’s see.”

Joining Jarni at the presser was NorthEast’s vice-captain Reagan Singh. “Our team, like everyone else, is playing well, giving 100% on the pitch. For me, Jarni is one of the best coaches I have played under. Every coach has a different philosophy, but individually I have improved a lot this season,” he said.

 Read the Match Preview here.

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