An emotional NorthEast United FC head coach Khalid Jamil urged the management to keep faith in their current crop of players as he felt they will come good next season after gaining valuable experience during the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) this season.

The Indian also apologised to the northeastern players as he felt that he didn’t give them enough opportunities to play while also suggesting that he wasn’t fully in control of the dressing room after the club added technical director Ohad Efrat as a part of the coaching staff.

NorthEast United FC lost 2-3 to Jamshedpur FC in their penultimate game of the season. The Highlanders had clawed their way back from 0-2 down to make it 2-2 but succumbed to a late Jordan Murray goal.

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Jamil addressed the media during the post-match press conference and here are the excerpts:

How unlucky do you feel was the result for you?

Everybody worked hard today. I don't have any problems with the players, they are working very hard. One thing I want to say is that I always take the blame that because of me we win or lose. But now I have to be brave. Talking about these matches, the first five or six matches were good but after that it was disappointing. I'm saying again, it was my pleasure to coach. I always feel it is a dream but this time I kept silent because of many reasons. I won't say that now. I want to say thank you to John sir. Only he supported me. Because of him, I'm continuing otherwise I was out. So I want to say that from all my heart that Allah keeps him happy all the time. Because of his support I'm feeling very happy. Talking about the players, they worked really hard. They are very sincere. They were listening to me from the start of the season, then in the middle of the season management decided to bring in some technical director (Ohad Efrat), he came in. They also listened to him which is a good point. I don't have any problem, but one thing I want to say is that talking about the matches, I was involved as management told me that he will be there, he will help you but I was not fully involved.

Apart from the last goal, was the second half the best half of football you played this season?

Yes, you can say that. Marcelinho is one of the quality players in India. I thought that he would start the game but okay he started in the second half and he showed his class and that's why we brought him. Danmawia too. He scored four goals and he was my player. I, with the management, tried to take him and he did a good job. He played 6-7 matches and he scored. One message I want to say about northeast players from Aizawl, Manipur. I'm sorry I didn't give them a chance but they deserve to be here because this is NorthEast United FC, for northeast players. I feel very sorry about Mapuia, Chhara, Joe, they all did good jobs. I don't have to say anything. Initially many complained that they are not good but they showed. Same with Marcelinho. Deshorn Brown was getting good support today. Zakaria was good and everyone tried. That's a good point.

Marcelinho was brought into the club to score goals like these. Is it a shame that it came so late?

No you can't say it's a shame. I take the blame. It is my mistake but he did a good job and he is a good player. He is one of the best players. I didn't have to tell him anything. He had good vision, good control, he is a good guy. He, Brown, they are quality players. They definitely will change the game for us.

Do you think the club can retain the majority of the foreign players for next season?

Talking about next season, I never think about next season. Let this season finish. You may say we have only one match, why not talk about it? The players we have signed and worked very hard. They got experience. We should not release anybody because they got experience, they will do well next year. If we bring new players, they also take time. Talking about foreign players, we need quality players like Brown, Marcelinho, Zakaria. So we need quality players and talking about Hernan (Santana) and (Pattrick) Flottmann also did a good job. Hernan played most of the matches. He was very sincere with me and the new technical director which the management appointed. He worked very hard. He is also having a good experience. Talking about Marco, he needs time because he is also one of the best players. Talking about foreigners, we have to wait and see. We will see.

Once again I have to say, I am not blaming anybody. The management is trying very hard. From the start of the season, they give me freedom. There is no doubt about it. But I thought it would continue. But let's see next season. We will do well.