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NorthEast means a lot to me, says Nelo Vinagada before facing former side

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NorthEast means a lot to me, says Nelo Vinagada before facing former side

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SportsCafe Desk


New Kerala Blasters manager was all praise for NorthEast United ahead of his side’s final league game against the Highlanders. The manager also stressed on the importance of finishing the season with a win in front of the home fans, who have been through a lot in an underwhelming season for Kerala.

Kerala have been a terrible failure this season and could only be toppled by Chennaiyin FC in this aspect after the defending champions finished rock bottom this season. The Blasters had to bring in new manager Vingada after the international break after the club parted ways with David James – a move that has seen some improvement in the side.

On Friday, the Blasters would be welcoming NorthEast United, who have already qualified for the playoffs. However, facing against his former side would be special for Vingada as he admitted. The Portuguese was in charge of the Highlanders back in 2016 for 14 matches when they had won five matches and lost six. 

"It is important to play a good game and win the last game. NorthEast means a lot to me because they gave me the first chance to come to India in 2016. I would like to congratulate them for making it to the semi-finals," said Vingada in the post-match press conference, reported ISL official website.

Kerala’s highly anticipated season ended pretty bad as they would be finishing ninth on the league table and Vingada’s preparation for next season would depend on how his side manages to finish in front of the home crowd.   

"Tomorrow is our last game in the league. We are here to fight and try to put in our best. We have the Hero Super Cup coming and we cannot afford to make mistakes because if you lose one game you are out. We take everything game by game. Of course, tomorrow is the most important game. It is important to look forward to the next match. If we finish in ninth place, then it is my obligation to improve the club. We need to be better next season and to fight," he said.

Vingada also reflected on the improvement of football in India over the years stating that the country has a strong desire to excel in the sport. “When I came to India in 2016, I was surprised because I saw better technical quality than what I expected. In a lot of games, I saw players with a lot of quality. So, there's a lot of potential. No doubt about that. They have a strong desire to learn and be better professionals," he stated.

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