We can improve with hard work: North East United FC's Vincenzo Annese

NorthEast United FC head coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese believes that his side can improve a lot with hard work after they went down to FC Goa in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in Goa, on Saturday.

The Home side started all guns blazing and Fatorda rewarded them with two early goals. Edu Bedia calmly slotted one in the 10th minute whereas Iker Guarrotxena scored a belter at the 20th minute. NorthEast United FC grabbed a consolation goal through Jordan Gil, but it was too late. Speaking at the post-match press conference, the NEUFC head coach agreed that these early goals created many problems and allowed FC Goa to play more freely with possession.

Annese was satisfied with the way the team improved in the last few days, mainly in the attacking play, and he wants his team to believe that they can score at any time.

Here are the excerpts from Annese's press conference:

What did you feel about the match?

Well, we conceded two goals very early and created ourselves a big problem. We know from the middle they come (and attack) inside the box all the time. They did this and it (the goals) started with this. We need to follow the player, we are not able to mark man to man. This is one stuff that we need to work on. We have too much focus on the ball and we need to improve about this for sure as soon as possible because it is a quality that we really need to work on. We will be better because I saw the efforts of the guys, it was so good. They ran well. I want more aggression from the players. We know that the FC Goa team keeps possession all the time and we allowed them to play. Maybe we can do better in counter attacks. We don't have enough power to counter attack. I believe it is the best, we can do (now). We can do better and better (in coming matches).

We need to also focus on the first eleven. We need to give chances to improve the game by game and to realise our play because in these eight nine-games, (the team is undergoing) change all the time, change of the system, change of formation, and these many changes don't create a sense of feeling with each other in the players. So if you watch all the games, we change something all the time so it is not good for any team in the world. We need to focus on the players, the first eleven and substitution because it's important also to have all. And we go forward in a better way. I believe that this journey will be hard, but it will be exciting for the future. I'm new to the league and, and I study so much again to see other opponents. I study my players game by game and I believe I can do better for the next game against ATK Mohun Bagan at home. So we need to start winning at home. We need to start winning. There is some improvement, but we still work on improving.

How tough it is to balance two things: winning the games and improving the youngsters on the team. What kind of compromises play hand in hand?

The previous coach was playing in a different way. We started to overload (in attack), we started to create more, and to have more penetrations into the center as well. We need to believe that we can score all the time. We need to believe in this and this mentality was always in my team previously as well. I believe all the time that we can create some danger for the opposition team. We need to focus on improving what we have, not on the future. Focus on the players that I have. I don't have a pre-season and I came here in the middle of the season and I believe we can improve a lot.

You wanted the team to be more aggressive and after a few sessions you had with the team, how much do you need to improve in that aspect?

Still not enough (aggression). We need to make more tactical fouls. We need to press them. If you give space all the time, especially with FC Goa, we will be punished. We need to be more aggressive, more on the ball,  more on pressure and more of this in a good way and. Today we did good improvement from the first game. We need to run more between the spaces and create space, attack with many players, cross into the boxes on the opposite side, counter with many players in the attacking phase. When we got the ball in the opposition half, we tried dribbling and playing with three-four touches play and put crosses in the box. FC Goa scored like this with crosses into the box. We need to work on this and believe in this (method). In India, you don't really need to give so many options to play. We need to give one and believe in this. It would be okay for the future.

What are the biggest positives that you can take home from this game?

We went and created chances and that's what I want. We attacked through the middle and through the flanks. We ran more. If you watch the GPS today, some of them ran for many kilometers. Many players have cramps because I forced them to do it during the week. I can totally killed them this week. And I believe with hard work, we will see more (of) this. I try to also improve the physical part of these players and I think and I hope we will perform.

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