NorthEast United FC head coach Juan Pedro Benali believes his team is ready for the challenge that Mohun Bagan Super Giant presents as they face the Mariners in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Friday.

The Highlanders currently sit in seventh position in the table with 10 points from nine games. They have won two games, drawn four and lost three games so far this season.

The Highlanders currently hold the seventh position in the table with 10 points from nine games, having won two, drawn four, and lost three matches this season.

Under Benali's guidance, NorthEast United FC have shown gradual improvements in their gameplay, and the Spanish head coach encourages his players to elevate their performance, both individually and collectively, in the upcoming match against the Kolkata-based side.

“Slowly we are pushing the players to their limits. We push them to understand the game, to be constant, to repeat the same work, try to be awake and aware of the game. At the end, we are building the mentality and spirit of the team,” Benali stated in the pre-match press conference.

“Our future achievements do not matter as much as building the team and helping the players become better now,” he added.

Mohun Bagan Super Giant have made a great start to the league as they remain unbeaten after six matches, collecting 16 points with five wins to their name.

While the Mariners pose a significant threat with their star-studded team, Benali is confident that his side is prepared to embrace the challenge.

“We are ready to play against Mohun Bagan Super Giant,” he said.

“We are a fighting team. We know what we need to do and need not do. We will see them (Mohun Bagan SG) on the pitch,” Benali added.

NorthEast United FC midfielder Gani Nigam joined head coach Juan Pedro Benali in the pre-match press conference. He has played in five games for the team so far.

Nigam acknowledges the importance of scoring goals early, as it alleviates pressure from other areas of the team.

“It is frustrating if we don't score early, (as) the pressure falls on our defence. Scoring early is very important,” Nigam said.

Nigam feels that head coach Benali and his coaching team have been very helpful and supportive of him and the rest of the NorthEast United FC players this season.

“The coaches are helping me and my fellow players to get better every day. They are also helping us with the mental aspect of the game,” he commented.