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ISL 2017: TEAM TRACKER--NorthEast United FC ;First time playoffs likely

A TEAM that has best finished outside of the top four will aim much higher this time around. NorthEast United FC's best finish was a fifth place twice in the past. That was the closest they have come in the three seasons played.

The team, last year, consisted of three major performers namely Katsumi Yusa, Nico Velez and Emiliano Alfaro. The trio was the backbone of the team. With all three missing, a new core team needs to be in place to take shape early if the they are to make it to the play offs.

ISL 2017: TEAM TRACKER - NorthEast United FC- First time playoffs likely

A new coach in João Carlos Pires de Deus can be the one to turn the tide in the team's favour. Joao, is a fairly young coach, with a vision on youth development. His experience coaching a national team can be very useful in the ISL.

Retained goalkeeper Rehenesh TP, will be expected to take responsibility being part a strong defence system. Rehenesh would want a sturdy last line of defence to ensure clean sheets that become very important in playoff qualifications. In the midfield, the key Indians Laldrinika Ralte and Rowllin Borges would shoulder the biggest responsibilities in the team. Borges, who was injured and missed the national team game against Myanmar, should be back soon. The two Brazilians in the team, Marcinho and Adilson will be looked up to provide the lethality NEUFC need in midfield. Clean sheets don’t win games. To get the goals for the Highlanders, the task will be assigned to Danilo, Odair and Paez supported by the very promising youngsters Narzary and Doungel.

The midfield pressing and pushing up to create chances coupled with combining with the forwards is just what NEUFC need to fill the void left by last season's trio.

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