NorthEast United FC will settle for nothing short of three points when they take on Delhi Dynamos on Thursday in a crucial Indian Super League (ISL) clash at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati.
Eelco Schattorie’s men suffered a disappointing 1-2 defeat against Bengaluru FC in their last match despite dominating proceedings for most of the game.
Expressing his disappointment on the defeat, Schattorie said, “The disappointment in the last match was that not getting three points but the way we went about it there was absolutely no negative. I had the feeling that the team which should have won was us.
“In the last three games, we could have had five penalties, out of which three of them were in the Bengaluru game. I can show videos to show that I was a hundred per cent right and they influence the game hugely and that’s painful.
“I don’t like to argue about referees but if five penalties are disallowed in three games, that has influence. But we have to put that aside and take the positives. I took the full risk against Bengaluru, even in the last part of the game we went all out and lost the game. But the players are confident. They know that they can dominate and win matches.”
When asked about the pressure of winning the match in any condition, Eelco replied, “The biggest pressure I have is that we have played 14 games and out of that only seven times I could play my strongest formation. The other seven times I had to adjust simply because of losing a defender like Mislav (Komorski).
“Four games injured and three times he went out (Twice red card and once due to injury). All those times I had to (tweak) the formation. In the away game against Delhi, I had to play a 4-4-2 formation, which I don’t like and now I am back to square one again. I have to find a way. I have full confidence in my players but injuries are a concern.”
On the impact of the one-month break the team had, the Dutch coach said, “When you go into the break and the comeback, the preparation you do to get into the groove is the friendly games you play to see how fit the team is. I can’t say about other teams but as long as I have my strongest XI I am not scared of any team. We have shown that we can dominate against any team.”
On opposition Delhi Dynamos, Eelco opined, “From what I saw, I have a clear idea of how Delhi Dynamos play. It is difficult for them to qualify. They can play without any pressure. It is always a completely different mindset if you have to deliver something.
“We are in a position where we need to win and they are in a position where they will try to get a result. Their coach is focusing on the Super Cup or at least that is what I read somewhere. The mindset is completely different. If you can score quickly against such a team you can break them down because of less motivation.”