We have nothing to lose: NorthEast United FC's Vincenzo Annese
NorthEast United FC head coach Vincenzo Annese aims to get the three points in the last home game of the season as the Highlanders welcome Odisha FC in the latest fixture of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati on Friday.
The Highlanders sit at the bottom in the Hero ISL points table with only one victory in 18 matches. Meanwhile, Odisha FC are still in the race for the playoffs and a victory can take them to fifth place in the points table.
As the penultimate match of the season approaches, NorthEast United FC would be looking to give their home fans something to cheer for with the Highlanders ending their season away to Chennaiyin FC. Annese expressed how the team wants to close off the home games with a win and the players are performing well at this point of the season.
"For us it's everything, we are at a point where all the players are performing well. It's been two months and we need to close our home game with a good result. We want to add a positive result after we got one against East Bengal FC in the last game. I hope we can make a good impact in the match. Every single supporter is important to us and we are looking forward to the match," Annese said in the official pre-match press conference.
In the reverse fixture, the Juggernauts came out winners with a 2-1 victory. Annese talked about the quality players Odisha FC possesses and how the return of Jodan Gil is a boost for the team.
"Odisha FC is a good team and they have got good players in each position. They have good foreign players and quality Indian players. Deigo (Mauricio), for me he's a top striker, he's very difficult to mark. They have quality in midfield and they press forward all the time, they're the best in terms of pressing but we've improved. All the players believe in the result and we want to have a good final game," Annese stated.
He added: Now we've Jordan (Gil), he's back after the suspension, it's a boost for us. We have trained well this week, and we've had a good week of training. I saw positivity on my players' faces and we have nothing to lose, we just want to do our best for the game.
After the Italian head coach took over, the Highlanders managed to secure the first and only win of the season. Annese shed light on how there have been improvements in different aspects of the game and the team is more confident now.
"We need to win because we work hard and we deserve it. The team has had 33 training sessions with me in the last two months and before I came, the team was playing defensive but after me, we've been playing attacking football. I want the best for the guys and I know with me, they'll improve day by day. They are getting better in possession and they have more confidence. We want to give a good result on Friday," he said.
Attacker Gani Nigam accompanied Annese in the pre-match press conference. The 24-year-old has played seven matches in the league so far while registering one assist for the Highlanders.
"This hasn't been a good season for us and we're trying to win this game. We want to finish this season in a positive way," Nigam said in the press conference.
After setting up the third goal against East Bengal FC, Nigam eyes improvement with each passing day. The attacker expressed how the journey this season hasn't been a good one but the team is giving training session.
"It's been difficult because we are giving our best in every match and we're not getting the results we want. We keep on moving and giving our hundred per cent in every training session. We are improving day by day," Nigam concluded.