Super Cup: NorthEast United bank on support for local players against Chennaiyin FC

NorthEast United FC will be banking on support for their local boys to push them ahead in the Super Cup as they begin their campaign against Chennaiyin FC at the Manjeri Payyanad Stadium in Manjeri on Tuesday.

The side from Guwahati has six players in their ranks who hail from Kerala and have played football in some way or another in the Kozhikode-Malappuram region. The likes of Mirshad K, Mohammed Irshad, Jithin MS, and Alex Saji are all local boys who have played for Gokulam Kerala before, while Mashoor Shareef hails from the Malappuram district.

Northeast head coach Floyd Pinto feels that this could give his side an added advantage. “I saw the atmosphere in Manjeri during the Santosh Trophy, and it was amazing. I hope a good part of the crowd will support us because we have quite a few players from Kerala on our side. Hopefully, that will give us a big boost,” Floyd Pinto said in a pre-match press conference.

Matches between NorthEast United and Chennaiyin in the ISL this season have been exciting affairs, with the latter coming out victorious on both occasions (7-3 and 4-3). “We have improved towards the end of the season, and our last match with Chennaiyin was pretty close. Hopefully, we can go one better and win our first game in the Super Cup,” said Pinto, who had previously created an upset in the 2019 edition of the competition when his Indian Arrows side defeated Kerala Blasters in the Qualifiers.

“Our result in the ISL does not matter. This is an opportunity for us to prove that we are capable of doing well both physically and tactically. I see smiling faces in training sessions. We will try to do our best,” he said. Chennaiyin FC have also had a disappointing league campaign and will be looking to redeem themselves in the Super Cup.

“We did not have the best of seasons, but we did end it strongly, which gives us added motivation ahead of the Super Cup. It’s a good challenge for the upcoming games and a chance for us to go far in this competition. I’m excited for tomorrow, and so are the boys. Our first target is to survive the group stage and qualify for the semi-finals,” Chennaiyin FC head coach Thomas Brdaric said.

The German coach has been a keen follower of I-League action and feels that the clubs coming from that particular league will also pose a hefty challenge. “It will be a good challenge against the I-League clubs too. I have been following all their matches and statistics, and they have some good players,” he added.

Latest news

Related news