NorthEast United FC head coach Khalid Jamil suggested that the absence of their talismanic striker Deshorn Brown was responsible for their disappointing 0-2 defeat to Odisha FC in their Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 match at the PJN Stadium, in Goa, on Tuesday evening.
Odisha FC drew first blood in the 17th minute through a Daniel Lalhlimpuia strike, while Aridai Suarez, who provided the assist for the first goal, was on the scoresheet five minutes later.
Even though NorthEast United FC were subdued in the first half, they were much more active following the half-time whistle. However, the Highlanders failed to net a single goal and slumped to their seventh defeat of the season.
Jamil adressed the media after the match.
Here are the excerpts from his post-match press conference:
Do you think NorthEast United FC were outplayed by Odisha FC tonight?
No, talking about the start, we were not in good shape because we played differently in the first 25 minutes. But after that, we came in and everybody tried in the second half we tried, but we didn’t get the goals.
Has the defence let the team down?
No, you cannot say (that the defenders let the team down). See, as I said, you cannot blame the defense line, the midfield and forwards also need to work hard. But I think this result was because we missed the (Deshorn) Brown and we missed some players too. We changed some players and their positions. But everybody tried to work hard in the second half.
Are you still hopeful of making it to the semi-finals?
Why not, because anything can happen in football, but looking at the situation. Yes, we have to work hard.
Do you think your team should win more set-pieces and also convert them?
No, it’s not about set-pieces, the main thing is that we must get three points.
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