Goa [India], February 24 (ANI): After a win over ninth-placed SC East Bengal, NorthEast United FC's interim head coach Khalid Jamil said they did not take the match lightly at all.
NorthEast United FC picked up a 2-1 win against SC East Bengal at the Fatorda Stadium on Tuesday to stay on course for a top-four finish in Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21.
Suhair Vadakkepeedika opened the scoring for NorthEast in the second half before the Red and Gold Brigade's Sarthak Golui put the ball into his own net. SC East Bengal were then reduced to 10 men following Raju Gaikwad's send-off and Golui pulled one back for the Kolkata club late in the game.
"It was not easy. It was a very difficult game because in our current situation, the opposition will always play hard against us. So, we didn't take this match lightly at all," Jamil said at the post-match press conference.
Jamil also batted away suggestions that he was disappointed with his side's failure to keep a clean sheet. "I am not disappointed at all. My players are working very hard. Subhasish [Roy], foreign players like Benjamin [Lambot], [Dylan] Fox, Khassa [Camara], [Deshorn] Brown and even [Luis] Machado are working very hard. Even Provat [Lakra] and everybody is working hard, we are very happy to get the three points and that's our main motto," the 43-year-old said.
SC East Bengal scored a late consolation goal through Golui to set up a grandstand finish. However, Jamil insisted that he had faith in his players' reaction as he also urged them to get a positive result from their last match of the league stage.
"We weren't nervous, but it invited a bit of pressure. But I believed in my boys and knew that they would react in a positive way... we have one last hurdle and that's the most important game [against Kerala Blasters FC on Friday]. We must work hard and get a positive result," he said. (ANI)