We started chasing the victory from the first minute on: Cuadrat

The Boss Spoke About A New-Look Side, Injuries And The Performance Against NorthEast United

On a new-look line-up…

We have been working hard during the pre-season and trying out different things, but in the last week we lost Erik and Serran to injuries. We knew before the game that they were going to be a big miss for us in a match like this, because NorthEast is a very physical opponent. The rain and the heavy pitch demanded more physically from the players. So, we tried to be safe in those kind of circumstances. But I have to say that I’m really happy with my players, because from the first minute they were going for the victory. It was quite risky to put Ashique and Nishu on both sides because they are really young. But they also understand our plan and I think we created a lot of chances in the game.

On Ashique starting at left-back…

We know he has the skills and he’s very fast. He’s also a very good runner which means he moves up and down. He created a lot of close moments in the first half, mostly because he came from behind. When a player overlaps from behind, he is more dangerous because the marker is not able to get him easily. I am very happy with his effort for the team.

On Manuel’s debut…

He did a good job considering he had to play against two foreign central defenders. Both of them have a lot of experience and they are big guys. We changed him at the end, because I just wanted to try something different, you know just to try and push the attack from the middle, because we have players with different skills. At the same time, I didn’t wish to lose a lot of tall players because set-pieces at the death in these kind of games can be dangerous, and that’s why we made a late change.

On the plan for Ashique in the team…

As I said in the pre-match press conference, one of the good things in our team is that there are a lot of players who can play in different positions. So for sure, Ashique is going to help us in some different positions because he has the kind of skill. It is good for me as well to have those options because there are more players that can do the same.

On the midfield’s performance…

I think Raphael had a good game, and he was creating a lot of close chances. He was combining very well with our wingers so I’m happy with the work that he has been putting in with the system that we played with today. Of course, Erik is a player that we trust a lot, but we had to come up with a different plan for this game considering the availability of players. I’m happy with the performance of my players.

On Erik and Serran’s return…

Serran has a muscle issue, but he will be ready for Goa. With regards to Erik, it will take some more time because it’s an ankle issue.

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