Players are mentally strong, they'll bounce back: NorthEast United FC assistant coach Alison Kharsyntiew
NorthEast United FC assistant coach Alison Kharsyntiew is hopeful of his team turning the season around starting from their match against Hyderabad FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22, at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa on Monday.
The Highlanders are currently in the ninth spot in the league table, having bagged four points from five matches, which includes a win, a draw and three losses. They lost to Odisha FC by a narrow 0-1 margin in the previous game.
Meanwhile, the Hyderabad based side is at the fifth spot with seven points in their kitty, having won two, drawn one and lost one of the four matches they played so far.
Kharsyntiew addressed the media during the pre-match press conference ahead of the Monday’s game:
Here are excerpts from the press conference:
In the last match, NorthEast United FC created 19 chances, but only two of them were on target and no goals were scored. How is the team addressing the issue?
Kharsyntiew: In the last game, we played very well. In the first half, the boys played with so much confidence, and they were very flexible in the attack. But the only thing is that we were not clinical in the final third. So that’s something we need to work in the training, and then try to implement it in the match. But I'm sure that the players are mentally very strong. So yeah, they will bounce back.
Do you feel the team is yet to gel as a unit, because there were a few instances where lack of communication between the players was visible?
Kharsyntiew: The only thing we like to improve is when the ball comes to the final third. So that's the area where we have to improve. And yeah, we have to maintain the performance like we did in the first half against Odisha. If we can play that for 90 minutes, I'm sure we'll get a positive result in the next match or in the future matches.
What are your views on Hyderabad FC going into the upcoming game?
Kharsyntiew: Hyderabad FC are a very well organized team, they are very flexible in attack and they have good foreigners and Indian players. They (Indian players) are also very talented, and therefore perform very well. So on Monday, we have to be very disciplined with our tactical approach and we need to give our best effort and be more determined and be courageous for the three points.
Highlanders’ midfielder Imran Khan was present at the press conference and also addressed to the questions put forward:
Before the season started, you sustained an injury, how are you recovering from that? Are you fit to play for 90 minutes?
Khan: First of all, the management, the coach, the medical team, they really worked hard for me and I am really thankful to them. Now, I’m really fit and I can play for 90 minutes, so, it’s a good thing for me.
Just after a win over FC Goa, the team lost to Odisha FC. How is the mood in the dressing room and how are the players preparing for the next game?
Khan: Luck was not in our favour in the last game (against Odisha FC). We got a lot of chances, but we couldn’t convert them. Now, we are thinking about the next game and we are preparing for that and we are looking forward to it.