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Goa v NorthEast United

ISL 2018-19: Eelco Schattorie - What Goa do is their problem

1:51 PM GMT 13/12/2018
Eelco Schattorie NorthEast United ISL 5
The former Al Jazira coach believes the pressure is more on FC Goa despite his side's injury concerns

NorthEast United travel to Goa to face FC Goa amidst a tough run of matches in the 2018-19 Indian Super League (ISL) that will see Highlanders play their sixth match in 22 days.

Eelco Schattorie, the head coach of the visiting side, has highlighted the problems his team's challenges while insisting that the pressure will be on the hosts.

"I have my own problems. We (NorthEast) started the season with 22 players but at the moment I have 17. From 17, two are questionable. In the last two weeks, we played five games and from that, we suffered injuries.

"The same time, Goa lost their playmaker (Ahmed Jahouh to suspension) and I'm happy with that. At the same time, they lost their last game, which puts them under pressure but I'm more worried and looking at our team," he observed.

Both outfits are winless in their last three games, though it is when the Goans have lost twice. Meanwhile, both NorthEast's Bartholomew Ogbeche and Goa's Ferran Corominas who are the frontrunners for the Golden Boot with eight goals each haven't scored in the last three games.

"Both (Ogbeche and Coro) didn't score in the last three games, but strikers sometimes have a period where they score a lot and it goes down. Ogbeche gave a good assist for us against Bengaluru. So it doesn't matter who scores. I'm happy to happy to have him in our side because he brings stability, for us that we didn't score in the last three games is purely accumulation of fatigue," Schattorie maintained.

With regard to Friday's tie, the 46-year-old added that it is difficult to predict the kind of outcome given the kind of situation FC Goa are in.

"It is really difficult to predict because is the same (similar situation) like last year - a little bit of a patch where they lost their concentration or whatever the reason is. For us, we have some problems with injuries, although I'm not scared of the team spirit. It's their home ground and they have to normally put more pressure on us. So overall, it's very difficult to predict.

"I really try to focus in these games only on ourselves. Whatever Goa is going to do is their problem," said the Dutchman.

The former East Bengal coach was asked for his opinion if Indian coaches should be allowed to lead an ISL team and his reply was indifferent.

"I'm a very simplistic person. I don't look at status or background. If you're good, you're good. So if an Indian coach is good, why would you not be allowed to coach? It's that simple.

Whether you come from India, Holland or wherever you come from, if you're good at something, you should be able to get a platform to perform. So I would only be in favour if Indian coaches got their chances, but at the same time, it should not be a favour and should be based on quality," Schattorie reasoned.

On his infamous comment of turning a Mini Coupe into a Ferrari, referring to his own side's run so far, the NorthEast United coach would state that he can be proud of his side and himself.

"You can turn a Mini Coupe into a Ferrari. You can try to compete, but this is not arrogance or trying to give credit to yourself. If you look at us as a team, if you look at the limited resources that we have and the position that we are in now, we have done a very good job. But, at the same time, we still haven't won anything.

"So where we are now, it's a really good achievement and I hope to continue with that. Especially in the last five games, we survived that without a loss. So hopefully, we go into the break with three points in the last game and maybe restrengthen in our attempt to get into the play-offs. With what we have achieved so far, I can be proud of my team and even myself," he signed out.