Ahead of the first match against Mumbai City FC, the Spanish head-coach Gerard Nus addressed in the digital pre-match press conference.
Speaking about the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic and upcoming ISL season, Nus said, “We should accept the current scenario. Unfortunately, we had two positive cases recently. Though we all follow the bio-bubble guidelines very strictly, we can’t deny the chances of getting affected. We had good training and pre-season and we are positively taking everything so it doesn’t affect the mentality of the whole team. I am really happy about all the Indian players we have. All of them are excited to perform and prove themselves well. I haven’t seen anyone complaining about anything in training sessions where they participate and work with utmost passion“
“The challenge to race for top 4 is not easy. I don’t think of previous years results as we have different circumstances this year either it may be new players or new staff not only of NorthEast United FC but also of other teams. I see every team have made their recruitments very well.” He added.
Responding to the question for the upcoming match against Mumbai City FC, Nus said, “Mumbai City FC is the amazing team and we know their strength. Either it may be defence or attack, they are the best team. Looking forward to the match, their strikers Le Fondre and Ogbeche are the threats. But, we have our plans and will try our best to play an attractive style of football against them.”
ISL has implemented five substitution rule, on that note Nus said, “The organizers of Indian Super League have taken the great decision. Every team had a short training period, where players returned on the field after a long time. The injury will be the main concern for this season, so this rule gives us a chance to replace the player and also give more game time to Indian players.“
The ISL will be held behind closed doors, on that note, Nus said, “It feels very sad that fans will not be available in the stadium. It is not the way football should be as its the game for fans where they infinitely enjoy. But in another perspective, now we have digital media for broadcasting to bring all together at their home itself.“