East Bengal have appointed Eelco Schattorie as their head coach for the remainder of the 2014-15 season. This was after they decided to give the pink slip to Armando Colaco.
The Dutch coach refused to entertain qustions about his predecessor or the situation surrounding his appointment. He however, did sympathise with his colleague, having been in the same position himself.
"Before I start talking about East Bengal, I will not answer any questions regarding the coach before me. The only thing I am sympathetic about him because I was in a similar position in my career. Football is a jungle. At this stage where East Bengal is now, it is for me also a survival job."
The 43-year old is massively experienced, having started his coaching career with VVV Venlo. He has also spent about ten years coaching for multiple clubs in the Middle East. His last appointment was with Prayag United, now known as United SC with whom he parted ways in January 2014 after the club went bankrupt.
"Although they (East Bengal) have only played five or six games, there is no preparation time. I know some players, other players I don't. So it will take time. With a club as big as East Bengal drawing or losing is not an option. I am ready to take the pressure on me, that is not a problem. Taj Mahal was not built in a day so it will take time. We can change the intensity of the program i.e the game. Normally you need to get to know the teams, the staff. The biggest thing is that it is only three months and a lot of things have to happen there."
He however deftly played to the gallery when he said that his goal for the season was to make East Bengal champions.
"My plan is to become champions for a team like East Bengal. They will have my full commitment. If you want to be champions you always have to do things a little bit more than the opponent. If you need to wake up at 5 AM you have to."
As for his hopes from the AFC Cup, where East Bengal are scheduled to take on Darul Takzim away from home, Schattorie wanted more time to analyze the situation.
"In the AFC Cup, as a club you have to do as good as possible. The team from Hong Kong is very good. The first team we are playing, they have a good striker and are a good team. As for the goal, we will do as best as we can."
The former United SC coach cheekily compared the situation of fixture congestion with a drinking session which goes overboard.
"You ever go on a night out and you are drunk. What I want to say is that if you are overloaded and it will be very difficult to recover."
He accepted that he did not have the necessary time to have fitness tests and analyze each player individually.
"When I was with United, at some point someone called me a computer coach in the beginning. But to use that equipment to measure fitness now, it is very difficult. Because if you do fitness training you have to do recovery and we don't have enough time."
The Dutchman recounted his good record against the Red and Golds in the Prayag days and said that his heart and blood were red and yellow.
"Message for the supporters: I am now wearing the scarf and I have embraced East Bengal as my family. My heart and blood will be red and yellow for the moment. The supporters know me a little bit as I have a good record against East Bengal and hopefully I will have a good record for them."