NorthEast head coach Eelco Schattorie accepted the fact that the better team won and there was nothing he could have done, with all the injuries rocking the team.
He said, “Goa got a very deserved win. We have, at this moment, only around 17 players and out of them two are injured. So, I didn't have enough any options to choose from. I lost my foreign centre-back (Mislav Komorski) to injury and I expected Goa to press us.
Circumstances called for a change in formation at NEUFC and Eelco believes that the players’ inability to keep the ball rendered these changes useless.
“We started a 4-4-2 simply because I wanted to play more long balls with the defence that we had. On that part, I blame my players because we lost every freaking ball. After 25 minutes or so, I switched back to a 4-3-3 but it was not the ideal formation with the players that I have,” he said.
The Highlanders had conceded just nine goals in 11 games prior to this thrashing. The Dutchman deemed this result unacceptable, with the defensive record that they have enjoyed.
“At half-time, I tried to tell the players where we could get our advance but that did not work. After they scored their first goal, it was where it broke down. Mentally, it was a bad performance. We cannot lose 5-1 if we have the second-best defence in the league.”
The 47-year-old attributed his team’s failure against Goa to a lower budget, weaker bench, bad scheduling and injuries.
Eelco said, “If I see what Goa has on the bench, I don't have that on my bench. I'm not saying that we don't have good players. As compared to other teams, we have a lower budget which is why we have lesser quality in certain positions.
“We did very well it the first 10 games. In the last period, where we had a very dense program, it set us back but we still survived it. In this game, I lost my foreign centre-back and that put a huge pressure on the way I like to play.”