Miguel Portugal: Motivated to leave the last spot on the league table

Delhi Dynamos FC travel to Guwahati to take on NorthEast United FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 on Wednesday. The Lions have had a season to forget, picking up just two wins in their campaign so far. But the Miguel Portugal-coached side will be confident of turning things around at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati, especially after their spirited performance against Chennaiyin FC that saw them hold the former champions to a 1-1 draw.

With nothing less than pride at stake, Portugal said that his side was motivated to get rid of the last spot on the points table. “The motivation is to leave the last position,” he said addressing the media at the pre-match press conference on Tuesday. “For NorthEast, the situation is the same. We are here to win. The players who play tomorrow will play to win.”

Portugal also spoke about his experience in India and pointed out areas of improvement for the league. “Overall, there are good young players in the league,” he remarked. “I think they need to improve more, they need to learn more about the football culture. But, the first experience has been good for me. The teams are good, the pitches are good. But the league also needs better foreign players.”

The 62-year-old also spoke about the injuries in his side ahead of Tuesday’s side. “Nandha (Nandhakumar Sekar), Edu Moya, Albino (Gomes), Pritam (Kotal), Romeo (Fernandes), (Jeroen) Lumu, Seityasen (Singh) did not have time for recovery after the last match. But, it does not matter. We will play well,” he said.

Meanwhile, Northeast United FC’s assistant coach Eelco Schattorie spoke about his team’s mentality ahead of the match. “We obviously do not have a chance of making it to the play-offs,” the Dutchman said.

“But, till now I see a very motivated team. The players are very positive. Everybody is really trying. Of course, when you are not fighting for anything, it is always difficult (to keep yourself motivated). But with this group, what I see in training, everybody is there to learn. So, I have zero worries.”

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