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Frustrated de Deus rues near misses

Frustrated de Deus rues near misses

Guwahati, Dec 21 (UNI) NorthEast United FC coach Joao De Deus was left frustrated last night

after his side slumped to its fourth defeat in six games in this edition of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL).

Languishing in ninth place after a 0-2 loss to Mumbai City FC at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, NorthEast United have just one victory, one draw and a goal difference of (-)5 to show

for their efforts. Their shambolic displays mean they have just four points, one more than

bottom-placed Delhi Dynamos. For the record, they’ve scored two and conceded seven goals.

In the post-match press conference, the Portuguese coach rued his team’s wastefulness in

front of goal. Concurring with the journalist who pointed out that NorthEast players were

creating several chances but failing to convert those into goals, de Deus said, “I am frustrated

and what you said is correct. We created so many chances. We should win games because

we have more chances than the opponents. My boys came here to get a different result. So

let’s work hard, let’s be patient and let’s try to let this moment pass. It is not fair but this is

football.”

The 41-year-old former left-back, whose professional career spanned nearly two decades, however, defended his tactics. "We can change the strategy. The problem is (not just) the

strategy and the players who are playing or the coach who is coaching. We must be better

with the (finer) details (of execution) because that is what is making us lose the game. You

don’t need to be an expert to understand that. You don’t have six or seven great opportunities

to score (if the strategy happens to be incorrect). We are disappointed with the results but if

you stay depressed with the situation, it is not going to solve anything.”

The coach has a point. His players have made a habit of making a mess of goal-scoring

chances. “Sometimes, the ball hits the post. Sometimes, it hits the foot or head of an opposition player and we end up not scoring. Let’s try to solve the problem. That’s all I can say,” he said.

De Deus needs to address the team’s defensive frailties too. After all, both goals scored by Mumbai City FC were a result of scrappy, sloppy defending in both halves. First, Ravi Kumar

ran out of his area to challenge Singh, and the 31-year-old forward clinically tapped the ball in between the goalkeeper’s legs to find the goal from nearly 20 yards away. Singh doubled

Mumbai City’s advantage in the second half, with Cameroonian midfielder Achille Emana

providing the assist yet again, this time rather selflessly in a two-on-one scenario with the goalkeeper.

NorthEast will now travel to Pune, where they face FC Pune City on December 30. Their next home game is some time away, on January 6. And de Deus will hope that his boys sort out their frailties, both in front of goal and at the back, when they turn up in front of their loyal fans next

time around.

UNI XC-BM

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