NorthEast United FC will play their first home game of the Indian Super League season on October 25 when they take on Odisha FC at the Sarusajai Stadium in Guwahati.
Both the sides will look to register their first win of the season. NorthEast United, with a hard-fought away draw against Bengaluru FC, are upbeat about their chances as coach Robert Jarni is pleased with the performance of the team.
Speaking to the media on October 24, Jarni said that the team will look to play attacking football in front of the home audience. “I am happy with the point (against Bengaluru FC). The team worked hard against the defending champions. Now at home, we will look to play more attacking football. We are ready for that kind of football as well,” said Jarni.
NorthEast showed good defending skills when they played Bengaluru FC on October 21 and Jarni hoped that the team will build on that performance. For the Highlanders, Mislav Komorski and Kai Heerings were looking solid as a central defensive partnership against the defending champions at Bengaluru while Colombian midfielder Jose Leudo was an efficient screen for them, sitting deep in midfield and snuffing out opposition moves.
Speaking about the role of star striker Asamoah Gyan, Jarni said that he would want the team to convert the half-chances and score goals. “He (Gyan) had good chances to score (against Bengaluru). It is always difficult to create chances against Bengaluru. Everybody knows him here, he is a very important player for us,” said the coach.
While NorthEast United started their campaign with a goalless draw against Bengaluru FC, Odisha FC suffered a 1-2 defeat at the hands of Jamshedpur FC in their ISL debut.
For Odisha, the game will be all about making their opportunities count. They were caught out on the counter numerous times against Jamshedpur in the previous game despite playing against 10 men. Coach Josep Gombau would have been left frustrated with how they conceded a late goal. The defence, led by Carlos Delgado, needs to buckle up against the likes of Gyan and Chaves.
“We have our own way to play. We respect the team we are playing against a lot. We are satisfied with our players. We discussed the result (against Jamshedpur) with all players. We had a few chances, but we could not score,” said Gombau.