NorthEast United FC are in a do-or-die situation against FC Pune City at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Guwahati today. If they lose or even draw, they will be out of 2015 ISL semi-final contention. NorthEast midfielder Bruno Herrero Arias spoke and shared his views ahead of the match.

What should we expect from the team in this do-or-die match?

“Our team will play with all our heart for a win. We want to give the fans something to cheer about. After winning the match whether we qualify or not is inconsequential, and that is not in our hands now. We don’t want to win only because we have to qualify, we want to win this game because of our fans who have supported us throughout, during good and bad times. We hope to give them a win”.

NorthEast are in a tight spot right now but considering the fact that you started the season with three straight losses, to be in semis contention is somewhat remarkable. What do you have to say on that?

“When we lost three games in a row at the very beginning of the league, very few people gave us a chance. But within the team, we believed in ourselves, we believed in ourselves to get the results and move closer to the semis positions. The fact that we still have a chance is because of the hard work of the players, the staff and of course our coach. Our team is like a family, we knew that if we stick together and persist the results will come”.

At any stage did you expect to be in this position where your qualification also depends on the performance of the other teams?

“No, we always prefer to qualify on our own merit. But you know it’s football, things like this have happened all over the world before. We know how the situation is for us but we will be focussed to do our job, which is to win tomorrow. When we win, the pressure would be on Chennai to win later against Pune. We are focusing on ourselves and our game to achieve the desired result”.

How has been your experience playing for the Highlanders?

“I enjoyed a lot to be honest! I’ve made many good friends over the last couple of years. The Indian players have been very supportive and friendly. Foreign players are also great to be with. I don’t regret coming to India and playing in a league that was barely starting out last year. I’ve had a good experience here and Season 2 of the league has showed that the ISL has come a long way since its inception. The quality of play has improved a great deal”.

Interview Courtesy: