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NorthEast United Coach Juan Benali calls out Stimac's ignorance

NorthEast United's coach, Juan Pedro Benali, criticizes national team coach Igor Stimac for neglecting the club's players in probables.

NorthEast United Coach Juan Benali calls out Stimacs ignorance

Juan Pedro Benali (Image via NEUFC)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 7 March 2024 5:19 PM GMT

NorthEast United's head coach, Juan Pedro Benali, didn't hold back in his criticism of the national team coach, Igor Stimac, during a post-match media address after NorthEast United's 1-0 defeat against Punjab FC.

"I invite the national team coach to come and see our games. But he doesn’t come. He should go to every stadium, talk to coaches and watch games," Benali expressed, highlighting his disappointment in Stimac's approach to selecting players.

When asked about the lack of players from different teams Benali continued, "It's not just about NorthEast United, I don't know if anyone from here deserves to be in the list. I don’t think he even knows the name of the players of our team. Same with Punjab FC too. He should watch all the games."

The frustration was palpable in Benali's voice as he emphasized, "I think Jithin is a good fit for the national team."

These comments come as Benali, like many others, questions the absence of NorthEast United players from the list of probables for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Benali clarified, "I am not saying he thinks of us as a small club or anything, but he doesn't watch the games. He only watches big games like derby." Along with Jithin M S, the absence of Parthib Gogoi from the probables list came as a surprise to the Indian football community.

NorthEast United faced a tight 1-0 defeat against the newly promoted Punjab FC. Despite a commendable effort, the highlanders were unable to counter Wilmar Jordan's goal, scored from a penalty in the 63rd minute, adding to the team's woes.

Currently, both clubs are just one point shy of the 6th spot in the league standings. NorthEast United's next challenge is against Mumbai City FC on March 12th, while Punjab FC is set to clash with FC Goa.

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