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The former Muscat FC coach wants to stay true to his tactics of playing the ball along the ground…

Eelco Schattorie, being a Dutchman, prefers to play an attractive brand of football which relies a lot on movement for which the team has to be in optimum physical condition, something which isn’t the case with United Sports Club given that they started their pre-season very late.

Instead of tweaking his philosophy given the need of the hour, Schattorie has opted to stick with his tried and tested model this season too and it would be fair to say that it has fetched him the plaudits.

“You can do two things – either you lean back and only go for a win by playing against your character and style. I don’t believe in that and prefer playing football like we did last year. The big core of the team is the same but there will be oppositions who are physically fit and organized like Bengaluru FC where you need that little bit extra.

“The only way to catch up with that is by going through it. In this stage, we are in survival mode. I hope we can survive around five games and can then seriously measure ourselves with other teams. We may win, lose or draw. But winning is not like the main priority as it will not be realistic at this point,” he reasoned.

Contrary to his philosophy is that of Mumbai FC who rely on the physical aspect more than the technical side of it. Schattorie, although not a fan of it, chose to highlight another facet of Mumbai FC’s game which he believes shouldn’t go unpunished.

“I respect every coach’s strategy. The only thing that I don’t respect about Mumbai FC is the time wasting tactics. If you play with eleven players in front of your box, I am not a big fan of it. That I can accept but not the time wasting. Last year in both our games against them and even other games, I saw Mumbai FC when they are up or try to break the opposition’s rhythm by a goalkeeper who has cramps a 100 times! This is a tactic of the coach (Khalid Jamil) which I don’t like. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that,” He opined.

Having lost to Mumbai FC in their two games last term, Schattorie as to what went wrong in those ties.

“In the first game, it was the first time I substituted Subrata Paul and his replacement Ishan Debnath didn’t play good and we lost. At Mumbai FC’s home game, we lost because of an own goal scored by Belo Rasaq. That was a bit unlucky. They are tough and difficult to beat. The only thing I hope they don’t rely on time wasting tactics. I hope the referee does something about it.”

An injury to Lal Kamal Bhowmick hasn’t helped his preparations too as he shared the latest update on the midfielder’s injury.

“We are still on the same position especially with Lal Kamal Bhowmick. We have got the bad news that he will be out for at least six weeks for rest. That means after that he still has to start training which means it will be at least eight weeks before he can start playing. That’s a big loss. We brought in a defender (Barun) in our team. He hasn’t played with our team yet but because of necessity we had to bring him. Otherwise we would have no defenders on the bench,” the 41-year old mentioned.

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