Delhi Dynamos coach Harm van Veldhoven on Wednesday expressed disappointment after his team suffered its third draw in four matches and said they needed to improve if they are to be among the top four sides in the league stage of the Hero Indian Super League.
"We are a bit disappointed with three draws in four matches but we have to deal with it and move forward. If we want to finish in top four we have to make improvements. Dropping points twice at home was not ideal," he said at the post-match press conference following his side's goal-less statement against NorthEast United FC.
"My players were running hard and trying their best. But I feel they have not played to their full potential. We have not seen fully what we can play. My players have not done all the things which I would have wanted them do. I don't want to talk about that today. We will discuss tomorrow," he added.
In the four matches that they have played, Delhi drew against Pune FC (0-0 at home) and Atletico de Kolkata (1-1 in Kolkata) before Wednesday's result. They had beaten Chennaiyin FC 4-1 in their previous match here.
Veldhoven said that his side was under severe pressure in the first 10 minutes but recovered later on.
"In the first 10 minutes, the balance was lacking in the team and we were under pressure. We settled down later on as the match progresses but the lack of balance in the team was something we have to look at," said the Dutch coach.
He also justified taking off captain Alessandro Del Piero in the 57th minute though the Italian legend was doing a decent job.
"At that point of time I was looking for my players to press forward together. I saw it was lacking and I thought (Brazilian Gustavo) Dos Santos would be a better option," he said.
Hans Mulder, who was also present at the press conference along with Mizoram lad Shylo Malswamtluanga, said he was "wondering" whether he was playing at home or away.
"I was wondering initially whether I was playing at home or away. Some of the crowd was joking at me. But later on I could hear a lot of support for me and for my side. I enjoyed the crowd support," he said, referring to the large number of Delhi-based northeast youngsters turning up at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
NorthEast United coach Ricki Herbert thanked the crowd and supporters of his side.
"Our supporters have been fantastic. They have turned up in large numbers in Mumbai and here and of course in Guwahati. I also expect huge support in Pune. Hopefully, we will pay back in some way for their support," he said.
The New Zealander said that he was pleased to have got a point in an away match.
"It was a tough game and Delhi were a very good side. I am pleased with the draw and especially my side did not have some key players (marquee player Joan Capdevila and Koke)," he said.
Herbert rued that his side was denied a "clear" penalty by the referee in the 65th minute.
"I have seen it again (on TV replays) and it was a clear penalty. But this can happen in football. We have to move forward," he said.
Goalkeeper T P Rehenesh, who made at least three spectacular saves, said he was growing in confidence and learning everyday in the company of some of the top international stars.
"I am learning everyday. I got encouragement from Capdevila and other international players. My coach told me not to wait for the ball but to go for it," said the 21-year-old from Kerala.