ISL 2020-21: NorthEast United FC look to extend their unbeaten run against Jamshedpur FC

NEUFC found themselves in a similar position the previous season, remaining unbeaten after six games. But two back-to-back defeats saw their momentum slip as they finished a disappointing ninth.

Press Trust of India December 18, 2020 08:44:41 IST
ISL 2020-21: NorthEast United FC look to extend their unbeaten run against Jamshedpur FC

NorthEast United FC are currently fourth on the points table, with 10 points from six matches. Image: Twitter/@NEUtdFC

Vasco: NorthEast United would look to consolidate a terrific start and extend their unbeaten run when they lock horns with Jamshedpur FC in an Indian Super League match on Friday.

The Highlanders will be pleased with the start they have got this year after six games. A victory on Friday will put them level on points with table-toppers FC Mumbai City and second-placed ATK Mohun Bagan.

NEUFC found themselves in a similar position the previous season, remaining unbeaten after six games. But two back-to-back defeats saw their momentum slip as they finished a disappointing ninth.

However, if they manage to avoid a defeat against Jamshedpur, the Guwahati-based side would achieve its best-ever unbeaten run in ISL history.

"We are working hard to be sure we're not going to lose. We will try to go for three points in every single game but I'm not worried (about losing). The most important thing is we keep progressing, improving and we stick to our identity," said NEUFC head coach Gerard Nus.

"If we get the three points tomorrow, it will be the best (unbeaten) start for us, so looking forward to that," he added.

NorthEast will have to be wary of Jamshedpur striker Nerijus Valskis, who is currently the joint top-scorer alongside FC Goa's Igor Angulo. The Red Miners have been dependent on the Lithuanian upfront, and he has scored six of his team's seven goals so far.

Jamshedpur too are heading into the game after successive draws. A win for Owen Coyle's men, placed seventh, could enhance their chances of making it into the top four.

Jamshedpur will miss the presence of their suspended midfielder Aitor Monroy, who picked up a red card in the previous game against Mumbai City FC. They will have to ensure they control the midfield and stop NorthEast's forwards from getting the service they want.

The defense, marshalled by Stephen Eze and Peter Hartley, will also have to play a big role to keep NorthEast's attacking force quiet. So far, only Mumbai have scored more goals than the Highlanders this season.

Coyle expects a tough challenge from his counterparts but also believes in his team's abilities. "They (NorthEast) are a good team, they have shown they are hard-working and it's going to be a tough game," he said.

"We have enormous respect for them but it's also a game we're looking forward to. We know that if we're at our very best, it's a game we can win."

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