NorthEast United FC head coach Vincenzo Annese expressed that the team hopes to create more chances and attack more as the Highlanders gear up to welcome FC Goa at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati for the latest fixture of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23.

The Highlanders look to earn the second victory of the league with the help of new signings made by the club. Meanwhile, FC Goa would be looking to revitalise their playoff bid after three matches without a win. The Gaurs have the chance to do the double over the Highlanders with the 2-1 victory at home in the reverse fixture.

Annese talked about how the fixture against FC Goa is going to be a challenging one with the team performing well in the league. The head coach also talked about Edu Bedia and Noah Sadaoui being the difference makers for the Goan side.

"It'll be a very difficult game for us, FC Goa has a lot of quality. Bedia (Edu) he's one of the most experienced players of Hero ISL and he knows all the managers. He's the key to this (FC Goa) team, he's been part of the quality team for years. Noah (Sadaoui) makes runs behind the defenders all the time, he creates problems for all the teams they have faced," Annese said during the pre-match press conference.

"All the quality teams they have faced in Hyderabad FC, ATK Mohun Bagan, they (FC Goa) have created problems for all of them. They have quality in each position. We hope on Sunday we can give a better performance than the last game that we lost at home against them," he stated.

NorthEast United FC signed the Congolese striker Kule Mbombo in the winter transfer window to bolster their attack along with Hira Mondal and Alex Saji. Anesse stated that the new signings are adjusting to the different style of play of the team.

"Kule (Mbombo) is a quality player, he's clinical in the box. I hope we have a lot of chances to receive the ball in the box and I hope he can make a good impact in the Hero ISL. Now he's trying to understand our play. Hira (Mondal) and Alex (Saji) came last week so we have three new faces and for sure, they add a lot to the team in our different style of play," Annese said.

The Highlanders have conceded late goals in the league with the latest goal in the last fixture against Bengaluru FC in the 94th minute. Annese stated that it's about concentration and focus till the last whistle that will help the team overcome such situations.

"I hope that we don't concede any more late goals in the league. It's about concentration and focus till the end. It was so painful in the last match, we were so angry with the game. Sometimes it's about luck and sometimes it's about concentration and focus," the Italian said.

"We hope against FC Goa we try to offer better football than the last game because in the second half, we stopped to defend, we need to be more compact in defence. I believe we have improved a lot in a lot of aspects, with every training and every game we are improving. We've seen the difference more than before, I personally believe we have improved. The fans deserve the win, they deserve a different performance. We hope to create more chances and we hope to attack more," he added.

Head coach Annese was accompanied by the new signing Hira Mondal in the pre-match conference.

Mondal expressed his gratitude to the coach and the management for showing trust in him and bringing him to the club. He further added how he'll try to give his all to help the team in upcoming matches.

"I'd like to thank the coach and the management for bringing me here. I have to believe in myself that I can do good and pick up from where I left off last season," Mondal said.

"The mood in the dressing room is fine, we know that we are not getting the results but everyone is working hard, and we all are together be it inside or outside the pitch. We are doing everything but somehow things are not falling into place. In the last match, we conceded the goal due to my mistake so we'll try to improve on those things. We will try to implement the points explained by the coach in the match and if we do all this we can win against FC Goa," Mondal conluded.