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NorthEast United v Chennaiyin

ISL 2018-19: Eelco Schattorie - NorthEast United depend only on Ogbeche and Gallego

5:28 am AEDT 27/1/19
Eelco Schattorie northeast united kerala blasters isl 2018-19
The Dutchman ridiculed John Gregory's assessment of his side being 'surprise packages' during the beginning of the season...

NorthEast United strengthened their bid at a spot in the playoffs of the Indian Super League, edging defending champions Chennaiyin 1-0 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium.

Coach Eelco Schattorie was happy with the result and was straightforward in admitting that the team depends on Bartholomew Ogbeche for the goals.

“I’m happy as long as he (Bartholomew Ogbeche) scores. But there were five to six open chances that we missed. We should have had a penalty too. If you compare our team with other teams, we depend on only Bartholomew (Ogbeche) and Federico (Gallego), so I give myself a lot of credit for that.  

“We also had (Rowllin) Borges score one or two goals and that’s it. Yes, there is a dependency, but we can’t do anything about it. We have the lowest budget, so it’s obvious.”

His counterpart John Gregory claimed that the teams found it hard to beat NorthEast United as they were a surprise package at the beginning of the season. After 12 games, the secret is out and the Highlanders will find it hard to express themselves, the Englishman said.

Eelco maintained that he respected his opinion but ridiculed it straightaway.  

The Dutchman said - “If the other teams know how we play, they would have prevented us from creating the five or six chances. That’s his (John Gregory’s) opinion and I respect that but it’s nonsense and I don’t believe in that.”

“We have played 13 games and only lost twice. I had all 20 players in training only yesterday. Given our preparation in the pre-season, where we are is a fantastic achievement and I hope we can continue that. I gave a plan to the management and a part of that is fulfilled.”

The dependence on the star players aside, the gaffer spoke about how every game is important from now and the team must be mentally ready for all the challenges.

“We need to work very hard and get the results. It’s not that we just need to depend on certain qualities. It’s not easy as you are now in position where it gets difficult to reach your goal, having come so close. Now we need to win every game. If we had lost today, we will be going to Bengaluru next – an unbeaten team – and possibly have two losses in two games. So now it’s more of a mental thing and we need to win all our games.”