Punjab FC head coach Staikos Vergetis urged his players to give their best when they face NorthEast United FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Thursday.

NorthEast United FC are placed eighth in the league standings with 20 points from 17 games. Meanwhile, Punjab FC are just three points behind them in the 11th position with 17 points from 17 games. 

Vergetis acknowledged the strengths of NorthEast United FC and said it will require full concentration and effort from his players to get the three points.

“It remains a very good team, as it was in that period (when we faced them). They have made very good additions in the January transfer period. For sure, we will have a lot of difficulties in this game (as they have) very quality players, in all the zones. We have to be absolutely concentrated and give our maximum if we want to take one good result. If not, what less we give, the less we will receive,” he said in the pre-match press conference.

Punjab FC held NorthEast United FC to a draw, the last time the two sides faced each other in the league stages during October. Vergetis believes his team have progressed a lot since that period in terms of experience and their playing style.

“It was one of the first few games of the season. Our first experience of the ISL, especially for our players that had not played a lot of games. That period we were one team under construction. Now we are much better in the field. We have more confidence and more experience in the ISL division. We will try to cause difficulties to them (NorthEast United FC),” he expressed.

The team is going in the right direction: Samuel Lyngdoh

Midfielder Samuel Lyngdoh accompanied Vergetis in the pre-match press conference. He has missed majority of Punjab FC's games this season owing to an injury, having featured in just three games this season. Despite their defeat to Mumbai City FC in the last game, Lyngdoh believes the team is taking the right steps.

"We have been doing very well for the past few games, but the last game didn't go well for us. I feel the team is going in the right direction and we're improving each and every day. We'll keep on fighting one game after the other," he said in the pre-match press conference.

When questioned about the pressure of making it to the playoffs, Lyngdoh shared that he and his teammates are focused on accumulating the maximum points for the team in every game.

"We take every game seriously. Each game is like a final. As a footballer, you want to win every game," he said.