A file photo of FC Pune City's team logo. (ISL)
FC Pune City are targeting a maximum of nine points from their next three matches, all at home, as they hunt for a place in the semi-finals of the third edition of the Indian Super League (ISL).
FC Pune City opened their account with a late winner against FC Goa last week and now return home to tackle NorthEast United FC at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium on Wednesday.
This will be followed by two more home matches against Kerala Blasters (October 17) and Chennaiyin FC (October 23) even as assistant coach Miguel made it known that they would settle for maximum points and nothing else.
"We have three games at home and these games are very crucial for us to get the nine points which will help us to go ahead in the league and qualify for the semis. We start with NorthEast and we know they are in good form but we are playing at home and with the Goa win, it will increase our confidence to play well," said Miguel, who will continue to hold charge till chief coach Antonio Habas returns to the side after serving a four-match suspension.
FC Pune City needed a dramatic 90th minute winner against FC Goa to collect full points against FC Goa for their first win. The performance was encouraging, and with marquee Mohamed Sissoko stamping his authority on debut alongside Jonatan Lucca in midfield, there was all-round appreciation.
"It was the first game they played together. They can do better but they performed really well as they understand each other," Miguel said.
NorthEast United FC were grounded by Mumbai City FC after two consecutive wins at home and coach Nelo Vingada will have to do a lot more to ensure that his side does not remain giants only at home.
"I am proud of the players even though we made some mistakes, missed a couple of chances… But this is football, these mistakes happen because we play with men and not with robots and machines. I am leaving with this performance and not the result. I am leaving Mumbai more optimistic than I was even before we lost," the Portuguese coach said after his team lost by a solitary goal, thanks to a penalty from Diego Forlan.
NorthEast United FC had their chances to get at least a point from the game but missed far too many chances against Mumbai. Should they need more than a point in their next away match, such luxuries will have to be avoided.
NorthEast United are at the top of the table for now with six points from three matches.