We must maintain the rhythm and keep fighting: NorthEast United FC head coach Khalid Jamil

NorthEast United FC head coach Khalid Jamil expects his team to ride on the momentum gathered and also keep on fighting when they take on Odisha FC in their Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 match at the Tilak Maidan Stadium, in Goa, on Friday evening.

The Highlanders logged their first three points with a 2-1 win over FC Goa in the previous game. They are now placed at the eighth spot with four points from as many matches.

NorthEast United FC head coach Khalid Jamil addressed the media in the pre-match press conference ahead of Friday’s game.

Here are the excerpts from the press conference:

How is the mood in your camp after the first victory of the season?

Jamil: Everybody is confident (after the win over FC Goa). We must maintain this rhythm. We must fight. Talking about Odisha FC, they are a good side. They also played very good football and started very well this season. They are tough opponents, we have to be alert all the time. And this match is very important for us.

Odisha FC are a very attack-minded team and have scored many goals in the first three games, but NorthEast United FC have a fragile defence. How are you preparing for that?

Jamil: Talking about this, as I said they are a good side, they play as a team. Defensively, they're also strong attacking-wise they scored more goals. So we have to be alert, and talking about our team we must play our normal game. This game is very important for us.

With the absence of Federico Gallego, who is the player who needs to stand up the most to ensure that his absence is compensated?

Jamil: Talking about (Fredrico) Gallego, we missed him in all the matches we played, especially last game and in the coming matches he will not be there but we have the replacement for him. As he played defensively, Imran (Khan) is there, Gani (Nigam) is there, Mapuia (Lalkhawpuimawia), William (Lalnunfela), we will try anyone from them to play this match.

Highlanders’ midfielder Pragyan Gogoi was also present at the press conference and addressed the questions put forward:

We've seen you take a lot of set pieces this season, how's the preparation as a set-piece specialist been going for you?

Gogoi: The coach has said that I have to take (set-pieces) from the left-hand side, cause I am a left-footed player. Set-pieces are important because we can score goals from them. So, it will be great if I take more (set-pieces).

What do you make of your partnership with Khassa Camara in the midfield?

Gogoi: Khassa (Camara) is like my big brother. And he's guiding me every time in the match. And in the training and also off the pitch. And he is really, really great. It's been a pleasure to play alongside him.

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