Coach Eelco Schattorie wants to have one foot in the playoffs with a win over Bengaluru. But the Dutchman knows that it won’t be an easy task, given Bengaluru has been one of the most consistent teams in India.
“We should have won in the home game against Bengaluru. We are on the edge of qualifying and we must win tomorrow. Bengaluru need to win as they are just coming from their first defeat. They should not be worried.
“They have shown in the past five years what they can do – they have won the I-League and the (Super) Cup. I’m sure they’ll be well prepared to come back from a defeat. But the biggest issue for Bengaluru is the absence of their main striker, which is not good for any team. But we are lucky that he (Miku) is not playing. It will be a tight game and I’m very excited to see what will happen,” the coach said.
The Dutchman denied that NorthEast will be following Mumbai’s blueprint to beat Bengaluru. He maintained that he will be focusing on what his team can do, rather than what can potentially hurt Bengaluru.
“Mumbai is a counter-attacking team so they could use that do beat Bengaluru. They transitioned well from a Bengaluru corner and they scored. Mine is not a counter-attacking team.
“I don’t think there is a specific blueprint to beat them, it can happen once or twice. Many times you can try to convert a set piece and end up conceding on the other side. You can see it in two ways – either Bengaluru will be down that they lost their first match and don’t have their main striker, or they will be hungry to prove themselves again. I don’t want to think more about Bengaluru, I want to focus on ourselves.”
“I hope that ATK and Jamshedpur lose all their games, with all due respect. I want the teams below us to lose as the top four will be qualifying for the playoffs. But I want to focus on tomorrow’s (Wednesday) game for now and we will think about the next game when it happens.”
The NorthEast United gaffer mentioned that it is that time of the season where the result matters more than the method employed to get it. Schattorie also spoke about how he does not have the luxury of rotation, due to the shortage of quality players.
“In football, you need to establish a style to your team. Mumbai is a counter-attacking team and Goa is a very attacking team. I build my team around a defensive organisation. I always try to win and how I do it depends on the opponent. At this point, it’s all about the result. How you get the result is less important.
“We have one player who is injured – (Provat) Lakra. Everyone else is fit. There are some minor things, we will see about that today in training.”
“It is not easy to bring a player in as I will have to take a player out. The spine of this team is made up of those five foreigners. Maybe in teams where the Indian players are of higher quality, rotation becomes easier,” the Dutchman concluded.