United Sports Club registered a memorable 3-2 victory over Churchill Brothers at the Kalyani Stadium in what was arguably one of the best games of the league so far.
After going down two goals down to the defending champions, United SC found their bearings and eventually scored three to snap an important three points.
Eelco Schattorie explained the reason as to why his side conceded two goals to Churchill Brothers despite having dominated the proceedings from the onset.
“We have almost three weeks before we play our next game on 23rd, which is good. As I have been telling from the start, we are in survival mode. I think that the Dutch coaches are famous as they always try to attack and want to score. With that playing style comes a big risk and that is something I tried to teach my team. If you see in the first half, till they scored the goal, they didn't come to our half even once. We were attacking but were never dangerous apart from the two dangerous chances Vineeth got. That strategy means that you are playing with a big space behind your defense and you need to be extremely cautious.
“We conceded the first goal from our corner. Eric (Brown) gave a sign before the corner and then did something else. That confused all other players. That is immature. With all the troubles we have in our team, the most important thing for us is to play mature, as I stressed in a meeting a day before the game. The rest, the scoring will come later,” he said.
Schattorie admitted that he thought the game was over after conceding early in the second half. However his decision to switch to three at the back paid dividends.
“After we went down 0-2 early in the second half, I thought of resigning, as it was very difficult to fight. During the break also, I had a brief talk to the players but didn't give them any tactical speech. I wanted to make them feel that they need to be more professional. Then we made a change and we started playing with three defenders.
"Hasan (Al Moustafa) is not game fit. The problem with Hasan is that he had only one game and which was also in a practice match a few days ago. You can't put a player you aren't hundred percent sure of. He didn't play in Syria for a while and if you play in our style, we have to be sure he can handle the defense. So, he starts in the bench. The agreement we made about Hasan is that we will make assessments about him till December, the first part of the league. If he does well, he will stay. Otherwise, we will look out for another one. We don't have too many choices for now. And he did pretty okay when we played with three defenders.”
The former head coach of Al Riffa praised Ranti Martins for scoring two goals but reiterated the need for creative players in his squad.
"If Ranti gets ball, he will score hundred percent. This is the difference between last year and this year as we had a number of creative players back then. Jayanta (Sen) has some creativity, but he is a little older. He needs to be fit for playing 90 minutes and he had his chances in some other games and that's why he is on the bench now. In Dempo, Ranti scored so many goals because he got crosses from Clifford (Miranda) and last year James (Singh) and Shylo (Malswamtulunga) had a lot of assists. It is a bit difficult this time.
"Luckily today a sponsor came and I hope they will be able to solve some of the problems. Most teams are making their squads stronger. Dempo got four new players while Mohammedan got five. In my opinion, I would like to have another goalkeeper to put Sangram (Mukherjee) under some pressure and a creative midfielder."
Schattorie acknowledged that Mukherjee hasn’t been at his best this season and has committed several mistakes which has seen his side lose out on points.
"I don't have a goalkeeper coach and the goalkeepers don't get proper training, at least in the way it should be. The corner we conceded from in Bengaluru was Sangram's mistake. Also in Shillong, he was late to come out from a throw-in. The last one against Salgaocar and also today we conceded from set-pieces. I also had a meeting about that before the game. In the second half, we worked as a team, but they way we conceded the goals, they were too easy. That has to be dealt with a bit of more maturity."
He demanded a better performance from his left back Dhanachandra Singh and also spoke on what he had planned for the team this term had financial issues not sprung up.
"Dhana is a very good left-back and is powerful. But when it comes to crossing, I have told him hundred times that practice it, practice it. But still most of his crosses go too high.
"Bengaluru's success is based on their two central defenders (John Johnson and Curtis Osano). Not that they have such a special tactical football. This was also my plan before the season and due to the financial problems, it didn't happen. We chose a player but he was very expensive and so we ended up with Hasan. Hasan is also a very good player, but he is not hundred percent fit.”
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