High on confidence and fresh from their maiden Indian Super League win, debutants Hyderabad FC would like to consolidated when host NorthEast United today (Wednesday).
All the negativity that surrounded Hyderabad FC’s poor start to the season of their ISL debut was dispelled with their come-from-behind 2-1 win over Kerala Blasters FC in their previous game.
Phil Brown’s side were at the receiving end of two heavy defeats away from home before finding some relief at home. Now, the task for the manager is to build on this result and boost the morale of the squad.
However, his task is still unenviable, given the fact that key players are still missing due to injury and suspensions. The likes of Bobo, Rafael Gomez and Giles Barnes are all injured while Nestor Gordillo is still serving a ban.
“I don’t think we have moved past all the injuries, there are four big players still injured. What we tend to do is to focus on what we have. We focused on the players that are available to us. That was the most important thing,” said Brown.
The bright spot for Hyderabad FC will be the form of Marcelinho. The Brazilian forward struck a brilliant free-kick winner against Kerala Blasters and scored a goal in their 3-1 defeat to Jamshedpur FC. He will be Hyderabad’s talisman against a solid NorthEast United.
The visiting side’s potent attack, led by the irrepressible Asamoah Gyan and Martin Chaves, will pose a huge threat to a fragile Hyderabad defence which is yet to keep a clean sheet this season. Youngster Redeem Tlang has also impressed and adds to the guile and pace of NorthEast’s attack.
We know we are coming up against a very strong team and they got a lot of discipline in their team. They are very organised defensively. They have Gyan who is capable of winning a game on his own. But we have a team which has character,” said Brown.
NorthEast United are undefeated in three matches so far. Though they have only one win, their two draws have come against strong sides in Bengaluru FC and FC Goa.
In fact, Robert Jarni’s side will count themselves unlucky not to have obtained all three points against Goa, after conceding a late stoppage-time equaliser.
“You never know how they (Hyderabad) are going to play. They won the last game, they are full of confidence and we have to prepare for them. (But) we are confident because we are still unbeaten, we played against the big teams in the league. (However), it will be a tough away match,” said Jarni.
While NorthEast could be considered favourites for this clash, Hyderabad have shown that they can pack a punch.
The match will kick start at 7:30 pm. Fans can catch the action LIVE from 7:00 with a 30-minute preview show on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Hindi HD, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Sports 1 Kannada, Star Sports 1 Bangla. The feed will also be streamed LIVE on Hotstar and JioTV.