Light At The End Of The Storm As NEUFC Record Season's 1st Win

The gaffer suggested that he knew the opponent well having already beaten them in the AFC Cup with Gokulam Kerala.
NEUFC won their first match of the season with victory over ATKMB
NEUFC won their first match of the season with victory over ATKMB

NorthEast United FC (NEUFC) head coach Vincenzo Annese was jubilant as his team finally won its first match of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23.

On Saturday, the Highlanders earned their first points of the season after defeating ATK Mohun Bagan 1-0 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati.

Wilmar Jordan's strike separated the teams on a night in which NorthEast United FC kept a clean sheet.

While addressing the formal post-match press conference, the 38-year-old was pretty emotional and praised everyone at the club for their efforts in obtaining the first points of the season.

"I am a winner and I want my players to be winners, step by step we will improve," he said after the game. We will need to improve in the defensive phase and attacking transitions, and step by step, we will do better and better," remarked an emotional Annese as quoted by the ISL website.

The gaffer suggested that he knew the opponent well having already beaten them in the AFC Cup with Gokulam Kerala.

"I was afraid about the opponent changing their approach coming into the second half, but I knew they would consider it while in the attacking transitions, and they created a lot of space. We had to be more crucial in attack, but I believed in the team and myself the whole time," added the head coach.

The Italian highlighted how the pressing of the team was superb, especially from Jordan (the goal scorer) and that helped them in the attacking transitions when the opponent left space and helped the home team create opportunities to score.

He never lost faith in the team and himself but added that it was time to think about the next game against Hyderabad FC which he has never faced before.

NEUFC won their first match of the season with victory over ATKMB
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The head coach terms this game as an exciting opportunity after a much-needed and important victory.

"When you work hard and are serious about the job, everybody believes and follows your instructions, and we need to thank the staff as well for keeping players injury free as it is important and gives us a platform for the future," added Annese.

After a series of defeats in the league, 10 to be exact, Annese did not forget to appreciate the efforts put in by his staff who made sure that the players stay fit to set a platform for the second half of the season. He was also glad to see the belief everyone has in him for the hard work and efforts he brings to the table, which are one of the many reasons he got all three points in Game 11 of the latest ISL season.

"I like the market and I like that it is opening soon, but I am okay to continue with these players. For me it does not matter if we play at home or away and I hope the boys come good for the next game, also hope that the supporters believe in these players but I need to take rest and think about Hyderabad FC and we have our strategies planned and want to go there to enjoy the game" concluded a happy Vincenzo Annese.

The Highlanders travel to Hyderabad FC in their next match and would hope to build on their first win of the season.

(With inputs from ANI)

NEUFC won their first match of the season with victory over ATKMB
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