NorthEast United FC would seek to return to winning ways when they take on Mumbai City FC in their Indian Super League football match here tomorrow.
NorthEast United set the ISL alight winning three of their first four matches but since that bright start, they have failed to get full points, drawing one and losing the last two matches at home.
They now face Mumbai City FC at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium here tomorrow and will need to bring in a massive improvements to fight their way back among the top four. They need to arrest their poor run of form or risk missing out on a place in the semifinals.
“We are not bad even though we have lost the last two games which is six points at home but we are creating a lot of chances. Of course, it’s only a matter of time that we will be back and we will fight to be in a good position,” said NorthEast head coach Nelo Vingada.
It is not just the losses that will worry the Portuguese tactician. NorthEast’s first three victories all came with clean sheets, conceding just one goal in their opening four matches. But they have now conceded four goals in their last three matches and have been unable to manage a single clean sheet.
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Goalkeeper Subrata Paul, one of the most impressive goalkeepers in this edition of the ISL, was injured in the last game and his absence could hurt the hosts. Subrata has made 24 saves, just two less than Edel Bete this season, and has three clean sheets to his credit.
Mumbai City FC have looked strong on their away games and have arrived in Guwahati after securing a precious point against defending champions Chennaiyin FC with a stunning late goal from Leo Costa.
Mumbai have collected eight points away from home this season and it shows just how much they have improved over the years. In the first two years, Mumbai City FC managed just eight away points from 14 matches (ISL 2014: 3, ISL 2015: 5) and have looked on course for a place in the semi-finals this year.
Head coach Alexandre Guimaraes was understandably confident that his team can continue with their impressive performances.
“I think draw was a fair result against Chennaiyin FC. It’s a good point for us but for them maybe it’s not a good point. After playing the way we did in Kolkata and winning, coming to Chennai and playing against the champions, getting this draw in the end… the confidence is really high in my team,” said Guimaraes.
Mumbai are placed second with 12 points from eight matches and will jump to the top with a positive result against NorthEast United.