Joao Pires De Deus’ NorthEast United FC are all set to welcome Mumbai City FC on Wednesday for their fifth match of the Indian Super League (ISL).
At the pre-match press conference, the NorthEast boss was unwilling to put a number as to the amount of points his side would need to ensure a place in the semi-finals.
“We have played five games but no one wins or loses anything after five games for this a different kind of competition. Even at the end, the one who finishes first does not win anything. Of course we need to start getting more points and more goals. Both of them are inter-related so when that happens we will get more points for sure,” he said,
Without the services of first choice goalkeeper TP Rehenesh for Wednesday’s clash due to his sending off against Kerala Blasters, Deus took a cue from Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho’s book by declaring Ravi Kumar as his best goalkeeper currently.
“When we started the season, we got three goalkeepers in the draft. One of them was TP (Rehenesh) and he was our first choice. He played the first five matches because the coach thinks he is the best goalkeeper. But now, the coach thinks Ravi Kumar is the best goalkeeper because he shall play tomorrow. I had three goalkeepers earlier, now I have two. This moment Kumar plays so let us speak less about TP for all our thoughts are with Ravi,” the Portuguese explained.
When asked if his side was under pressure to get the three points against Mumbai, the coach’s reply was emphatic.
“Regarding pressure, no one puts more of that than myself, be it any environment. I deal with pressures all day but it is my own pressure which is greater than anything else,” Deus remarked.
While mentioning that his side’s defence has been sound enough so far, the tactician admitted that goal-scoring is an issue currently.
“We have scored only twice and we are working on changing that.
“Of course it’s a concern not scoring but everybody who has a simple idea about the game will think that putting the ball into the net is our problem. We are getting into so many good scoring chances but it is not happened. Maybe it will change soon in a couple of games. Without distractions, we still believe in ourselves and we are working on it,” Deus said.
The NorthEast boss refused to blame injuries for his team’s inconsistencies this season.
“One point against Jamshedpur where we should have had three, then we lost to Chennai who were better than us. Then we beat Delhi which was normal but then lost against Bengaluru at home. If you saw the match you will agree that it was a completely wrong score.
“The last match, we suffered a goal and then we had three good chances to score. After that we went down to 10 men and even then we had good chances to score. So you can see that injuries are not our problem. Our problem is putting the ball in the back of the net,” Deus explained.
The Portuguese was unwilling to give much on his club’s January transfer plans but admitted that things were in the works.
“Yes we do have an idea about that (buying in January) but I will not say anything about it. You should respect the decision,” he said to conclude.