Eelco Schattorie was a disappointed man after NorthEast United allowed Chennaiyin to make a comeback and win the match 2-1 to seal a semi-final berth. The head coach feels that a break from competitive football harmed the rhythm of his team and hence the loss.
"We started the first ten minutes really well. We scored a good goal from a corner. But, the last game we played was on the 11th of last month. We did not have any games in between and that was the biggest problem which I had known. In all my training sessions, I had 14-15 players available so I could not play 11 vs 11 and we lost rhythm.
"Mato (Grgic) had to stay back longer during his holiday because of some family problems. He was completely finished and had to come off after the first half. I tried to make some changes in the second half because our buildup was not so good. We played really well after. We created enough chances and could have scored. We did well except for where Puitea lost the ball for the second goal," stated Schattorie.
The tactician refuted that his team could have handled things differently and stated that a failure to take their chances resulted in the defeat.
"No, we could not have done anything differently. We scored a good goal and then dropped because it had a lot to do with the buildup from the back. Mato was not doing the buildup properly and that influenced the game. In the last part, I put in an extra striker (Bartholomew Ogbeche). We did well but were unlucky with the finishing."
The former East Bengal coach heaped praise on striker Girik Khosla but had some words of advice for winger Nikhil Kadam.
"He (Girik) has made a lot of progress and he can be proud. I am happy that I could contribute towards him. Players like Girik and Kadam, the more you play them, the more you will see consistency in them. It was the same with Redeem (Tlang) at the start of the season. Kadam is a good player but the only issue I have with him is that he has to improve on his core strengths," concluded Schattorie.