Hyderabad FC head coach Thangboi Singhto looks forward to a difficult challenge as they travel to face NorthEast United FC in matchweek 9 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Sunday.

Still searching for their first win in ISL this season, Hyderabad FC will go all-out against the Highlanders to bag all three points. NorthEast United FC are taking to the field after having suffered humiliation by East Bengal FC in the concluding game of matchweek 8. HFC will try to capitalise on this vulnerability and snatch a win that might just be the start or a famous turnaround. 

The Manipuri tactician is glad to be back in North-East India. He believes it's going to be a tough game against the Highlanders who are currently placed well above them on the league table. “It's good to be back in the North-East, we both (Singto and Nim Dorjee Tamang) belong to the North-East. But, at the moment we are here for this match and we really are up to this game because it is something, sooner or later, we have to make a change in terms of winning a game," he said during the pre-match press conference.

"So overall, I know it's going to be a tough game because not mentioning the last game NorthEast United FC had, but they are much above us at the moment. So, it's catching up, not only NorthEast United FC, but as a club, as a team, we need to start winning games and that's our aim, the next game,” stated Singto.

Addressing Hyderabad FC’s tendency to play young players and give them a stage to showcase their potential, Singto believes that it’s their system to put faith in the youngsters. He said, “I think Hyderabad FC is known for promoting talented players who have gone and shown, at other clubs or in the national level too. So our progress, our, philosophy is a big word, but, our system of believing in the youngsters to come in, being given a chance and performing at the biggest stage in Indian football is something we will continue to do."

"That's what the management desires. And I think Hyderabad FC, as many know that if you're talented enough. You have a very, very good chance to play and do well for yourself and for the team," he added.

Except for their inaugural ISL season, Hyderabad FC have always finished the league in the top half of the table. Now sitting at the bottom of the table, Singto feels that his team is trying their best to keep up with that legacy and pull off a turnaround.

“It has been really tough. But the only thing, like I said we can do, is keep working hard. Forget about the past, because the past is the past. We have had a legacy, which is very difficult to continue by any other coach or any other club at the moment. But, we can continue. We have to continue," he said.

"We would like to bring back a little bit of joy to everyone around, the fans, especially, who have always been there and of course, the players themselves. We need that little bit of lady luck, I would say. And hopefully Sunday is a new day,” shared the 49-year-old.

Defender Nim Dorjee Tamang accompanied Singto to the press conference. He believes his long-time experience playing alongside Chinglensana Singh can find his team a clean sheet but they will have to focus more throughout the duration of the match.

“Me and Sana (Chinglensana Singh) had been playing together for a very long time, since our days in Shillong Lajong FC, and even then we used to keep a lot of clean sheets. This season we haven’t been able to keep clean sheets but we have to focus on our defending from the start of the match up until the 90th minute. We have to stay focused and only then we might be able to get a clean sheet,” Tamang stated.

Showing optimism toward the challenge ahead, he added, “We will try our best to keep a clean sheet in this match and if our forwards manage to score then we can win this.”