NorthEast United are set to play their home game against Bengaluru FC behind closed doors at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati, Assam, on Wednesday.
Due to the unrest in the state, last Thursday's match between NorthEast United and Chennaiyin FC was postponed. The coach of the Highlanders, Robert Jarni, has accepted the situation and cited that the security of the people is of utmost importance.
"[I am] so sorry that we didn't play the last match. We had a huge advantage because Chennaiyin had only two days of rest. Of course, we cannot influence that situation. We all wanted everything to be right for everyone. Security is very important," the Croatian remarked.
Asked if the absence of their home support is an advantage for Bengaluru, he replied, "I know that we play tomorrow (Wednesday) and we have prepared everyone for the game. This (playing in front of empty stands) is not good for anybody."
Furthermore, following Bengaluru FC's first defeat of the season as the Blues went down 3-2 against Mumbai City FC, the NorthEast coach warned, "The wounded lion is more dangerous.
"We know that this (Bengaluru) is one of the best teams in India but we saw that the game (0-0 draw) was open in Bengaluru. We had the possibility to win so who knows what will happen tomorrow (Wednesday)."
NorthEast United's last result also saw the John Abraham-owned side suffer their first defeat of the season when they went down 3-0 at the hands of ATK FC.
"It was very bad for us. That was the worst match we played. We never played so badly before. We have to forget that day and continue working hard," Jarni said.