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Delhi Dynamos, NorthEast United focus on recovery



DELHI: Delhi Dynamos coach Gianluca Zambrotta has handed a “special invitation” to his team’s supporters to turn up in impressive numbers for their home match in the Hero Indian Super League against NorthEast United FC at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi, on Saturday.

Unbeaten so far, Delhi Dynamos are playing their first home match of the season but are expected to be outnumbered by the away fans in the stands like the first two seasons. NorthEast United enjoy great support in Delhi and Zambrotta feels it’s important to match their opponents.

“Of course, we need the Delhi supporters and I am handing them a special invitation to attend. We need their support. In Kerala we played the last match in front of 60,000 supporters and it was not intimidating. For the players, it’s encouraging to play in front of a nice atmosphere,” said the Italian World Cup winner.

Delhi Dynamos have four points from their first two away matches and Zambrotta said it’s important to maintain balance as matches come thick and fast.

“We had some difficulties against Kerala because the match came immediately after the Chennai match. We will try to do our best against NorthEast United. It’s impossible to play at the same level all the time but the important thing is to have the players focused in attack and defence,” he said.

NorthEast United FC coach Nelo Vingada also said it’s important to focus on the recovery, especially after the last match where they played for almost an hour with just 10 men. NorthEast United had the numerical disadvantage when defender Nirmal Chhetri was sent off but despite the setback, the league leaders regained the momentum to score a narrow victory against FC Pune City, who also had a player sent off in the second half.

“We played for one hour with 10 men. A lot of energy was spent but I believe our team’s character and effort can make for a good performance,” said the Portuguese coach.

“Since the beginning, we are seeing that all teams are improving. It’s been an intense campaign for NorthEast and we have already played four games. But there are no excuses. We will play our best against a good team which is playing at home for the first time,” he said.