Vasco (Goa) [India], February 27 (ANI): NorthEast United FC interim head coach Khalid Jamil heaped praise on his players after the Highlanders sealed the playoff berth in the Indian Super League (ISL). NorthEast United FC qualified for the ISL playoffs after a 2-0 win against Kerala Blasters FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Friday.
NorthEast United has been unbeaten in the last eight games and Jamil credited his players for the team's success in the ongoing seventh season of ISL.
"The players deserve to be [in the playoffs]. They worked very hard and because of the players, we have got this result, that's 100 per cent sure," said Khalid at the post-match press conference
"I don't have to tell them anything, they are just playing according to some plan that we put [in place] but inside the ground, they are there [making things happen], which is the main thing to do," he added.
Needing just a point to qualify for their second-ever playoffs, the Highlanders came out all guns blazing. They gained an advantage in the first half through goals from Suhair Vadakkepeedika (34') and Lalengmawia (45') and then kept the Kerala Blasters at bay.
Jamil showered praises on both the goal scorers and termed Lalengmawia as one of the best footballers India has ever produced.
"Very outstanding goal. On Lalengmawia, we don't have to say anything on him, he's one of the best players that we have in India and I feel very happy to see his goal, he scored a wonderful goal and is a talented player, no doubt," Jamil said.
"If I had one word for Suhair, it is that he's a team-man and always works for the team. That's why he's always in the starting XI because he works for the team. Defensively he helps, in attack he's there and in set-pieces also. He's a very nice and humble man, I know him from earlier, he has that quality," he added.
The interim NorthEast United FC head coach also provided an update on Federico Gallego's fitness who came off the bench in the second half.
"He wasn't fit and practised just one day before the match. So, we thought we could use him for maybe for a half or for the last 30 minutes because he wasn't 100 per cent fit. Now I'm really happy to see him, he's back so it's good for us," Jamil said. (ANI)