Kolkata: Delhi Dynamos will aim to make a winning start to their home campaign when they take NorthEast United at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, on Saturday. The hopes of the high-flying ‘Lions’ after a thumping 3-2 victory over Pune in their opener, came crushing down following the 4-1 hammering by Bengaluru away from home. Coach Miguel Angel Portugal has however put the past behind him and is focused on the three home matches that they will be playing in the trot.
“I know my stadium. Our support, I think, will be the difference because it’s good to have fans supporting your team through the entire game. But that will be the only advantage we have in the match. We’ll have to play the game the same way as we did in the first two matches,” said Portugal at the pre-match press conference in New Delhi.
With three points from two matches the Dynamos are nonetheless better positioned than their opposition on Saturday, who have just one point form two outings. But the Spaniard wants more from his team, especially the defence which has leaked six goals in two matches.
It’s (defence) a problem conceding six goals in two matches. But it’s not just about our defence; rather, it’s about the way we have been defending as a team. I don’t like it. Our philosophy is to press well and we have not been doing that and I’m worried about it,” Portugal stated.
“We have to improve against NorthEast. In the last match, we lost 70 individual duels against Bengaluru,” he added.
NorthEast on the other hand have mastered just one win against the Dynamos in the past three seasons and are yet to open their goal account in the current campaign. After a 0-0 outing against Jamshedpur at home, they were thrashed 3-0 by Chennaiyin, a match which was overshadowed by an outrageous racial incident on an away fan by the Chennaiyin supporters. Coach De Deus is however not bothered about past results and is instead happy to have the entire team available against Delhi.
“For the first time, the best playing XI of NorthEast United will be on the field tomorrow, in my opinion,” said Deus.
“I don’t have players with injuries, with fever or in bad condition. I believe we are going to be better, stronger than the last game,” he added hoping to field his best team in search for their first win.