NorthEast United will look to continue their impressive start to the season when they take on Jamshedpur FC in Guwahati in an Indian Super League (ISL) clash on Thursday.
The Highlanders started the season with a draw and followed it up with back-to-back wins. In their last match, they came back from a two-goal deficit to beat defending champions Chennaiyin FC 4-3 in their own den. They are currently sitting third in the league table.
On the team’s current form, coach Eelco Schattorie said, “That's very simple. If you think you are better than you are actually, that is overconfidence. It's a difficult thing for a coach when you have got results for three games in a row to make a decision on whether you should make changes or not.
"I don't like to make changes because I like stability. When you play at home, there will be higher expectations and more so if you have got good results. You have a young team and it remains to be seen how they deal with it. How mentally prepared they are. And that is the most difficult thing for a coach to control.”
The Dutch coach praised Jamshedpur's style of play and expects a difficult game for his side.
“The mood is to win. Today you are a hero and the next day you are zero. But that's how it goes in football. You have to enjoy that. The expectations should be that it will be a 50-50 game. Jamshedpur also likes to play good football. That is more difficult to organize against.
"Teams like ATK and Chennaiyin play more physical and direct. It is easier to be more compact against them. It will be a hard game tomorrow because their team is a bit similar to ours. I am expecting an attractive and open game.”
Schattorie acknowledged that his team’s defence hasn’t been the best so far but they have to cut on their individual mistakes.
“I always like to be organized and stay compact. That has worked pretty well. But all those goals are from individual mistakes and we have to work on that. As long as we score one more than the opponent, I don't care. But against ATK we did not concede.
"In the last game, one was an own goal and the second we conceded due to organizational (problem). Yes, we have conceded but still we are in the initial stages of the season and we are working to improve.”
Schattorie will be without first-choice goalkeeper TP Rehenesh who has been suspended for violent conduct.
“The latest that I got that he will remain suspended for three games. So two more games. Our second goalkeeper (Pawan Kumar) he didn't play much with Chennai. GK is very important to get a certain rhythm.
"That is instability. But we don't have any other option. I mean that with respect. It is not that I don't trust him. I wish I could have given more time to him to play during pre-season. Hopefully, as a team, we can give him more confidence and help him throughout the game.”