Our aim is to reach the semifinals – Joao de Deus

KOLKATA: NorthEast United FC head coach Joao Carlos Pires de Deus heaped praise on Rowllin Borges and went on to state that the midfielder is the best Indian player according to him.

“We have the best Indian player in our squad in my opinion, which is Rowllin Borges. Halicharan Narzary and him are both part of the national team and we have other quality domestic talents as well,” the former defender said during ISL Media Day in Kolkata.

He also spoke about how qualifying for the semifinals is their minimum target for the season. “Our aim is to reach the semifinals, but football is a complex game and not easy,” he said.

“However, it can be made simple with definite ideas. My players understand very well what our concept of the game is. So, let’s start as quickly as possible and enjoy it,” he added further.

Admittedly, many of NorthEast United’s foreign players are not popular names but de Deus has faith in their abilities. He has faith in the club’s domestic signings and he surely has faith that they can only get better. On the evidence of their pre-season friendlies in Turkey, there is the sense of momentum.

NorthEast United finished at the bottom of the league table in the first year and although there were some encouraging performances during last two season, they could not qualify for the semifinals.

So why has the team been unable to finish among the top four?

Nobody can say for sure. But one thing is certain: NorthEast United FC are determined to turn the table this season and achieve their target of first qualifying and then securing the title.

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