NorthEast United FC head coach Vincenzo Annese felt there were plenty of positives for his side even though they ended up on the losing side in a 10-goal spectacle against Chennaiyin FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati, on Sunday in the latest fixture of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season.

A goal fest unfolded in Guwahati as Abdenasser El Khayati scored an impeccable hat-trick to take the game out of NorthEast United FC's reach. New signing Wilmar Jordan's penalty brought the game to a draw in the 36th minute but the hosts couldn't prevent another defeat under new head coach Annese. The Highlanders continue to stay at the bottom of the points table with their ninth consecutive defeat of the season.

Annese who took charge of his first match of NorthEast United FC spoke about how the proposed plan needs time to work, how the players are motivated and his belief that he can bring the change in NorthEast United FC’s fortunes. 

Here are the excerpts from Annese's press conference:

Your first match and it's probably the biggest defeat that NorthEast United FC has conceded. What are your thoughts?

Let's speak about goal scoring, we scored three goals. I think we didn't shoot the ball before like we did today. I proposed a different kind of football and the guys understood it well. We had just come here with one day of training. We started to change the attitude of players and I think we created a lot of problems for Chennayin FC. We also showed quality in passing and attacking strategy. We need to work in defence and the way we press and stay compact. We need to work in a lot of areas and we will do it.

Is the squad up to the limits that you expected?

I believe this team will always improve, we play different kinds of football and I believe in these players. I don't want any excuse, we lost 7-3, it's fine and we will be a different team in the next game and it'll be a different result. We have a week of training and we will work hard before we go to Goa. I believe in my players and I believe in change, so I'm ready for this challenge.

What is the first department that you want changes in the winter transfer window?

The first department I want change in, is the mentality of the players. We need to play more attacking, we need to make more overlaps as I didn't see one overlap from either side. We play different football and then we start to compete with each team, we will surely bring the change. I need to work with my players first and then look at the market.

How difficult is it to motivate the players after nine straight defeats?

The players are motivated. Even today with 7-3 we tried to attack and score more goals. It's not about the number of defeats, it's about the football we play. We proposed a good and different style of play today. I know the supporters come to watch only for the result but I can see we proposed a different kind of football than what we have done before. If we continue to attack more, I'm sure we will see a change (in results).

Are you going to change your style after today's result?

No. I'm not going to change my style. In the previous games of NorthEast United FC, they didn't win possession and only tried to score on counterattacks, I don't like that kind of football. I like to keep the ball possession, I like to press and I like to dominate. So the players must follow me and I believe they will follow. Of course, I need to say sorry to the supporters for the result but I'm asking for some time and I'm sure things will change.

How different is the level of football in I- League and Hero ISL?

It's not a different level, it's a different league. There are different kinds of budgets for the players. We saw a quality goal by Abdenasser El Khayati from outside of the box and also the goal from our player, Romain Philippoteaux. Today the efforts of our boys were amazing. So we have different budgets for our players. The I League also has quality Indian and Foreign players. It's not that the quality of the team will go up or down because we lost one goal, we need time.