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NorthEast, Delhi Fight To Avoid Last-Place Finish

Wednesday, 14 February 2018
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The Hero Indian Super league match between NorthEast United FC and Delhi Dynamos FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium on Wednesday may be of academic interest only as both teams have already dropped out of the race for a top-four finish. But, both sides would look to salvage some pride with a win and avoid a last-place finish.

 

Currently ninth and 10th respectively in the ISL points table, NorthEast United and Delhi Dynamos have both enjoyed good form in patches but the results have not always gone in their favour.  Talking about the mood in the NorthEast dressing room ahead of the “more-or-less inconsequential” game, NEUFC assistant coach, Eelco Schatorrie said that “qualification or not”, his squad is still very positive, and like all professional sportspersons, will give more than 100 per cent to score a win.

 

"The players are very positive, and everybody will give their best, there is no doubt about that. Of course, when you are not fighting for anything then the motivation level tends to dip a bit, but as a group everybody is here to learn and we are learning with every games,” said Eelco.

 

NorthEast United brought in the experienced Avram Grant to lead the team in January after Joao de Deus Pires’ disastrous start. But, even a change in the coaching staff couldn't arrest NorthEast United's downward slide this season. Commenting on his team's performance, Schatorrie talked about the need to have quality players in the side.

 

"We have played all the teams and I can say we haven't been completely outplayed by any of them. The difference has been in the quality of individuals players every team has. We have had our chances but we failed to take them," he added.

 

Delhi Dynamos, after their fine start beating FC Pune City in their opening game, only saw their campaign nosedive with every outing. The Dynamos too had their fair share of upsets when they defeated table topper Bengaluru FC and held Chennaiyin FC 1-1 in their last game but coach Miguel Angel Portugal knows it is too little too late.

 

"Our motivation now is to avoid the last position in the league. NorthEast United are also in a similar position. We would want a win in this one," he said at the pre-match press conference.

 

The Spanish tactician also revealed that he'll be missing some of his key players for tomorrow's game.  "Yes, Nanda, Edu Moya, Albino, Romeo, Lumu didn't have time to recover from the last game. That's doesn't  matter. We'll try to play our best and win the game," the Delhi coach added.