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ISL 2018-19: NorthEast United's Eelco Schattorie - We tried our best

21:01 GMT+3 11/03/2019
NorthEast United
Eelco Schattorie hopes to have a bigger squad next season...

NorthEast United head coach Eelco Schattorie congratulated Bengaluru FC for making it to the final of the 2018-19 Indian Super League and felt that his team has had a memorable season.

The Highlanders were defeated 3-0 (4-2 on aggregate) in the second leg as they bowed out of the competition. Second-half goals from Miku, Dimas Delgado and Sunil Chhetri helped Bengaluru become finalists for the second consecutive season. 

After the game, Schattorie said, "I want to congratulate Bengaluru for reaching the final. Our season has been a memorable one. We only lost four times this season. That means we must have done something right.

"There are a lot of games where we fielded the strongest XI and we played well in those games. Today (Monday) we started without two key players (Rowllin Borges and Bartholomew Ogbeche and a team is all about the balance. In the last game first half we played well and when these two went out our performance deteriorated. It does not mean that other players are not good but it is just a different kind of balance.

"I took a risk by dropping one player from the matchday squad to keep Bartholomew Ogbeche on the bench for motivational reasons. Today in the first half Bengaluru created some chances but our goalkeeper saved them really well. At half time I told my players, we can do two things, either we start playing football which means keeping the possession of the ball."

Injury woes continued for NorthEast as Federico Gallego had to be stretchered off in the second half due to multiple fractures to his shin bone.

"In the second half, Federico Gallego broke his leg. After that it was difficult. Overall a fantastic performance and I am very proud of the team," Schattorie said.

He added, "The first goal was an organisational mistake. It was in the (72nd) minute so I was hoping we would still make it. The second goal came from a corner. The third goal I am not sure if it was offside. The linesman was not on line but it's not an excuse. But that goal killed us.

"I think we tried our best. I know where the issues are. I have to discuss with management and see where the changes can be made. I had 16 players left today that means the depth of the squad is not great. The team who become champions have a big squad. It is reality. These things we have to discuss and make things better next season.