NorthEast United FC fell to their sixth defeat of the season when they went down 0-1 against reigning champions ATK in the ninth match of the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL).
After the disappointing loss against the side from Kolkata, NorthEast assistant coach Eelco Schattorie suggested that his side did not deserve to lose and a goalless draw would have been a fair result.
"Before the game started, our analysis of Kolkata was that this team has a scoring problem and are also difficult to beat. When the coach (Avram Grant) and I were speaking before the game, we knew that this game will either be decided by a set-piece or a silly mistake. The goal they scored was a ball we gave away twice. It was also individual quality and a good shot. But overall, a 0-0 would have been a fair result," the Dutch coach said.
The former East Bengal coach expressed his disappointment in his team's inability to stitch together passes.
"Without pointing any fingers, our team lost a lot of patterns. Building patterns take time but I do not think we played two passes keeping the ball with the team today. Once we got the ball, we played one pass and the next one we lost the ball. It is then that football becomes impossible.
"We have to rebuild and work on our confidence in ball possession. Defensively we were adept but we gave away a lot of balls in the second half which also resulted in the goal. Overall, ATK was better in ball possession but not dangerous in breaking us open.
"We lack scoring ability and creativity. How that is going to be rectified, we would like to keep it internal as saying this player and that player (was responsible) is not relevant."
The Highlanders begin their journey in the second leg of the competition on January 19th against Chennaiyin FC at home.