Currently the second-best side in the Indian Super League (ISL) this season, NorthEast United FC will be playing host to the best on Wednesday. Coach Eelco Schattorie expects Bengaluru to play like Jamshedpur did at the furnace when the two teams met last week.
“I think it is going to be a similar game like the one against Jamshedpur. Bengaluru like to play good football just like Jamshedpur," the Dutchman stated.
The Dutchman was critical of the scheduling and believes that only Delhi Dynamos have a tougher schedule than the Highlanders. Schattorie was appreciative of how Bengaluru coped the absence of Miku.
“I think we have the second worst fixtures after Delhi. They are last and we are second so I’m not really complaining about this. I’m not saying that if we lose tomorrow, it’s because of the schedule. But I think the fixtures are not kind to us. We have three games in a row now. We face ATK and Goa after our game against Bengaluru. We have to ensure that we don’t come across any injuries," he said.
“I think Bengaluru have an advantage here. But they don’t have their best player (Miku) available, so I think that’s a disadvantage. But they have shown that they can win games even without him. They have conceded just six goals so far so breaking them open will be difficult.”
Udanta Singh has scored a goal apiece in Bengaluru’s last two fixtures. Sunil Chhetri is the top-scorer for the Blues. Schatorie discussed how he has set up a plan to stop the wingers.
“Last time I put in (Provat) Lakra who is a bit tougher in defending. He eliminated the left-winger of Jamshedpur. He did very well, it was a bit of a risk but I was confident he could do it. I’m expecting him to do the same tomorrow. He has to eliminate the top-scorer of Bengaluru FC, Sunil Chhetri," the NorthEast United boss explained.
“It’s the same case on the other side. We need to be tough with their wingers and not give them enough space and cut out crosses. If you have wingers who can change directions and not only go inside or outside, that’s a tough thing to deal with. These are not secrets, these are what we are trying to do and hopefully we can eliminate the threats,” he continued.
The 46-year-old spoke about the injury problems his team is facing but refused to get into the specifics. The Dutchman also made a humble request to the fans, asking them to fill the stands.
“I don’t want to specifically reveal the injuries so that the opponents don’t take advantage. But we have a few worries, not serious ones, but we need to see in training whether they can play tomorrow," Schattorie remarked.
“I also have a request for the supporters. I think we are second now and we need to have bigger numbers in the stadium. It’s my humble request to the supporters to get more people to the stadium.”