Delhi Dynamos FC’s recent good form in the Hero Indian Super League has made many wonder what it could have been for Miguel Angel Portugal's side had it shown the same drive earlier in the season. Having fallen out of the race for the top four early in the season, Dynamos can now only hope to end its season on a high when it welcomes FC Pune City at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi, on Friday.
Delhi is unbeaten in its last five games and has won back-to-back games against ATK and Mumbai City FC at home. It will be looking to complete a hat-trick against FC Pune City, which has already made it to the playoffs.
"The mood in the team is very good after the wins. But now we need to play again to win," Portugal said about his team's recent form at the pre-match media interaction.
The Spanish tactician put the onus on the opposition saying his team will be under no pressure. “We'll be playing to be happy. Pune needs to win the game," he said.
In the reverse fixture between the two teams, which was Delhi's first game of the season, Portugal’s men prevailed 3-2 over Pune.
While Pune has already made it to the playoffs, its humiliating 0-4 loss to FC Goa in its last game has not gone down too well with its fiery coach Ranko Popovic, who wants it to get back to winning ways before the big playoff games.
"We have to show last game just an accident. The problem is not when you lose, the problem is when you show no desire to win and that's what happened to us in the last game."
Talking about the importance of the game against Delhi, he added, "It is important for us because it's the last game of the regular season."
Critical of his player's performance, Popovic told reporters that his players relaxed too much and it cost them the game against Goa. "I had told my players when you are playing well, you may just relax in a match and it will cost you. They didn't feel that and now they do after the Goa defeat," he continued.
FC Pune City will be without its top scorer Marcelinho for the game due to suspension. Delhi Dynamos, on the other hand, will have to do without midfielder Vineet Rai.