NorthEast United FC coach Marco Balbul said he is responsible for ending his team’s losing skid and wants his players to work hard and believe in themselves. In the sixth match week of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022–23 season, his team faces ATK Mohun Bagan in Kolkata’s Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Thursday.
Bulbul thinks his team has the drive to counter the momentum that the Highlanders are now feeling after losing their first five games in a row for the first time since their start in the Hero ISL. The Israelis called the Mariners one of the league’s best teams and the Kolkata encounter one of the most crucial away games.
The head coach attended the formal pre-match press conference before the ATK-Mohun Bagan match and discussed a number of topics, including Sylvester Igboun’s departure, the necessity of building balance in the squad, and much more.
Balbul news conference excerpts: The first five games were disappointing.Given the situation, how can you motivate your team before the key encounter against ATK Mohun Bagan?
ISL 2022-23: No Club Member Is Pleased With the Results
Also Read: The Court Contributions Rudy Gobert Makes Are Described as “Not Adorable”
No club member is pleased with the results. Nobody liked the previous game. Performance is awful. Though frustrated, we believe in our staff and work hard to improve. I’m responsible for improving the team’s defence and attack. We want to challenge ATK Mohun Bagan and change the game. Some games gave us points, some didn’t. Football takes hard work and belief in momentum change.
ATK Mohun Bagan—what do you think? I think they’re league-best. Their roster is strong. One of the league’s toughest away games It will be difficult to defeat ATK Mohun Bagan, but we must be well organised, driven, and organised against such talented defenders to close the gap. We’ll score when we enter, but we need to win.
Have you found the perfect eleven? With the exception of a few injuries, we employed a consistent starting eleven in most games, but we couldn’t find a winning formula. I want to improve here. As mentioned, winning games requires scoring goals. Second, we must stop conceding goals. Start over. Be more forceful while defending. We must be more composed to score goals. We’ll try these solutions to beat ATK Mohun Bagan.
Given ATK Mohun Bagan’s Attack-Heavy Style, What’s Your Defensive Strategy?
Also Read: John Salley Offers Shocking Theory About LeBron James And His Organization
Balance is my philosophy since winning games requires strong offence and defense. We’ll also try to halt ATK Mohun Bagan’s offensive players, including their top number 10 (Hugo Boumous) and top wingers and strikers. Prepare for those players. We should score on their weaknesses.
Has Sylvester Igboun’s departure affected the team? Losing a foreign player in this competition would be devastating. However, since other leagues have started, finding a striker is difficult despite the club’s best efforts. The club is trying hard to sign a fit striker.
Are the strikers disappointing? I avoid discussing attackers, midfielders, and defenders. Our team is tight, but our offence has been lacking, not just from the forwards. Our players are better, so we should do better.
Are you concerned about team injuries? Everyone’s OK. The whole team will go to Kolkata and perform well. I think these points against ATK Mohun Bagan will change the momentum of the team.
Given the number of games we’ve lost and the number we still have, do you think the team has the courage and determination to change the game? Tracking the players’ GPS shows they are among the league’s best for their everyday effort on the field, in practice, and in games. They work hard to win. Football can instantly change things from zero to ten. We need to change the momentum in the ATK-Mohun Bagan match.