'Salgaocar deserved to win' - Prayag United coach Eelco Schattorie

While Schattorie praised his opponents' passion and aggression, David Booth was happy with the change in fortunes of his side in recent times....
Captain Luciano Sobrosa was the hero, as he led Salgaocar to a 1-0 victory over Prayag United at the Tilak Stadium, Goa. The win was a relief for David Booth's side, as they finally moved well clear of the relegation battle.

Speaking during the post match conference, Prayag United's coach Eelco Schattorie conceded that Salgaocar deservedly won the match, while also having some words of praise for his players Deepak Mondal and K Asif.

"First of all, from the last 6 matches of the league, I had calculated (that we could get) twelve points. (These) two games, East Bengal and Salgaocar, I calculated as one point. Coming into this game, we had four players missing (from the squad) that played in the last two games. I knew it was going to be more difficult. On the other hand, if you see, if you watch the game, I think Salgaocar just (deserved to) win," opined the Dutchman.

"I think only in my team, Deepak Mondal and K. Asif, they had a very good game for a team (which played) below average. By the way, in the first half we scored a goal (scored by Kayne Vincent, but was ruled offside). I heard from my people that it was absolutely not offside, as shown on T.V, but that is a part of football."

"The last part of the game, I made a change. I thought playing a different system created some advantage in the game (for Prayag). (It) was in the last 5 minutes, or in the last 5-8 minutes, suddenly that the game changed. My centre defender started playing as a striker and so I was very angry with my team because we have to stick to the plan. If we would have sticked to the plan, we would have a chance," the Kolkatan side's coach continued.

"I'm not saying that we would have won. I don't know, but the moment I changed, atleast we started to look more dangerous. Overall, I think Salgaocar deserved to win. Not that they had lots of chances. The goal came from a free-kick and there should have been better marking from my defense. Like I said, in general, Salgaocar just won straight, due to more passion and more aggression."

The goal came for Salgocar from a set-piece. A Randeep Singh free-kick from the right-wing was tapped in at the far post by an unmarked Luciano Sobrosa.

On being questioned about his team's inability to defend the set-piece, Schattorie answered, "It was an issue long time ago and it was only in the beginning. The last 10-or-15 games that we played, including the IFA Shield, and Kolkata League, we didn't concede any goals from free-kicks. So this one was yes (an exception), we saw that happening because there was no proper marking."

David Booth's side lifted themselves away from the relegation tussle with the win. The Englishman praised his side for their performance, but the coach conceded that his side are not resting on their laurels and that they cannot afford to relax at all.

Booth said, "I thought we played very well in the first half. Although in the second half we got better chances, first half I think we played quite well, and the opposition played well (too). You know they were away (from home), and that they will not allow a shot at goal, they don't allow a corner, so we have to be happy with that. As for now, 4 cleans sheets in 4 games."

Salgaocar have been defensively fragile this season, dragging themselves into a relegation scrap, with the club having looked in danger of going down for most of the campaign.

"It's just consequences (chances created and missed) in the game at this stage, that can keep the game on. So, we cannot relax at all. We could have scored again, but we didn't," he concluded.

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