NorthEast United head coach Gerard Nus has seen enough of his boys in training to know that they are in for the long haul. Speaking after an exciting Indian Super League (ISL) match against Bengaluru FC that ended in a 2-2 draw, the Spaniard seemed happy that his side were able to come back after going behind by two goals to one, but also feels that it was a match that they maybe could have won.
“I’m happy with the fighting spirit and a lot of things that we have done. We’re the only team to be unbeaten after having played five games. This means there has been a massive effort from the players,” the 35-year-old said.
Asked about the fixture congestion and if he was having a tough time rotating his side, he admitted the same. “The last game we played was just 3 days ago, so we tried to rotate players as much as possible to avoid injuries. It’s really sad when players get medium to long-term injuries that put them out for the season. We’re trying to avoid that as much as we can,” expressed the young coach.
On the same topic, he added, “Every game is an opportunity for players and a challenge for the coach. It’s tough to drop people because the players are training really hard and giving their everything.So it’s a huge task ahead but I’m happy with everyone’s performance.”
Coming into the game as favourites and having taken an early lead, you’d think this was a case of two points dropped for the Highlanders. However, Nus is optimistic that the challenge posed by Bengaluru last night will hold them in good stead going forward. “We try to go for three points in every single game. We knew BFC is a team that can create chances but from set-pieces they always have a plan. It was upsetting that they got to us through that route. But we need to learn from this and I think it was a positive result and a point,” he concluded.
Asked if he was going to have a word with the players after they conceded two cheap goals, the young coach was quick to defend his players. “It’s not about pointing fingers. We win, draw and lose together. What matters is that we keep improving and give players the time to find their feet,” he signed off.
It seems NorthEast United fans can rest assured that their team is in good hands. The team is playing well and the coaching staff has been able to make them more than the sum of their parts, which is commendable. Having said that, much tougher tests await and the side will have to prove themselves all over again in every match hereon.