Scheduling seems to be a prickly issue in the Indian Super League. This was evident in the way the managers of NorthEast United FC (NEFC) and Delhi Dynamos expressed their displeasure on the eve of their match.
NEFC head coach Nelo Vingada made no bones about his dislike for the tight scheduling and the number of matches his boys have had to play — five including the upcoming October 15 match — in a fortnight. “It’s difficult to keep the tempo high when you are playing so many matches. But we will try to play a high-quality match,” said Vingada, who has trained the Portugal U-20 team and managed Egypt’s U-23 team. Gianluca Zambrotta, the Dynamos’ manager, too had a similar view. “We will have to keep the tempo high (despite the schedule),” he said.
But his boys would be better rested given that they will be playing their third match — and first on home ground — compared to NEFC, who will play their fifth.
But home advantage would matter little for the Dynamos given the staunch band of NEFC supporters in the Capital, who had outnumbered their Delhi rivals’ supporters last year. But Zambrotta took a positive view, saying, “It’s not intimidating (even) if there are 60,000 of their supporters,” he said.
NEFC are leading the table. The onus is on the Dynamos to begin their home leg on a winning note.